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With Thirty Illustrations 

'My life is so miserable I u-ish for no mare nf it," 




*,* .*; "*; ITH wiFEOF;R6$5ETT$**i;HER LIFE AN~D DEATH 

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Dedicated with sincerest respect and 
admiration to THOMAS J. WISE, who 
has helped me with counsel and 
afforded me documentation from the 
serried rows of his garner, in my task 
of collecting and interweaving the 
delicate strands of a short and 
tenuous life, like a Victorian lady's 
gossamer veil, caught and impaled on 
the thorns of this troublesome world, 


THE truth about Rossetti has, been told, more or less: 
the truth about the woman he married, never. For 
the first time, brushing away the decent coverlet of 
leaves with which Rossetti's admirers have covered his 
reputation, I seem to have laid bare much that is painful, 
wild and unexpected but, at the same time, something beautiful, 
heroic even, and all that is pitiful. 1 For surely the struggle of 
youth, avid of honours and joy, to do good work whether one 
lives or dies preferably lives is implicit in the stories of 
Eleanor Elizabeth Siddall and her husband and those he led 
against the Sanhedrim of old, mild but evil men who had sat 
down heavily in the High Places of British Art and persistently 
stifled all effort to see things truly and well. Eleanor's first 
sitting was to one of the Band and she was sitting to another on 
the day she died. 

She was born exactly a hundred years ago, and all the persons, 
nearly, that I knew well in youth had known her and were full 
of the legend, reinforced and cemented by her tragic death, 
which constitutes the dark stain on Pre-Raphaelite annals. Like 
another Iphigeneia, she was sacrificed and slain that the P.R.B. 
might conquer and live, 2 with her red hair for gonfalon. Her 
blood served for the anointing of the corner-stone, for the 
solemn ratification of this cult and its acceptance by a backward 
nation, which culminated in the exhibition, one Spring, of 
Burne- Jones' Mermaid with her divine sneer a Blessed Damozel 
of the Depths on the walls of the Royal Academy and the curt 
resignation of the last of the Pre-Raphaelites (second swarm) 
the very next year, from The Accursed Thing ! Perhaps who 

1 Puissant even now is the posthumous charm wielded by this pair, so that 
people say to me, " Don't put the searchlight on Rossetti, pray leave the bloom 
on Lizzy! " 

2 " All the world and his wife has seen Millais's Black Brunswicker and Mr. 
Hunt's Temfle and is beginning to think it rather hard that a new Pre-Raphaelite 
picture should not be produced once a month." Illustrated London News, 

vi i 

knows the violent gesture of this so mild man was intended to 
avenge her ? 

" Strange and sad her story/ 5 said Mrs. Howitt who knew her 
fairly well (no one knew her very well not' even her " dear little 
Georgy ") and her life " like a short and troubled dream." Re 
specting the details of that story there has been a conspiracy of 
silence, kept up until to-day, when there is hardly anybody 
left who knows at all. 

But now, according to a member of her family set, dignified 
and reticent as they all were and are it has come to form part 
of the educational curriculum. Children in Board Schools 
are taught x that the wife of the painter Rossetti, reproductions 
of whose works adorn the walls of their school-house, com 
mitted suicide, while a distinguished German professor has made 
this young woman, whose features have come to stand for the 
Pre-Raphaelite ideal in the eyes of the world, the subject of a 
thesis, read before the youth of Jena. 

Virtuous, static, almost characterless except for a natal 
obstinacy, something of the sharpness and sourness immanent 
in those born under the banner of a lost cause, her history is that 
of the eleven years during which her orbit coincided with that of 
Gabriel Rossetti and the Pre-Raphaelites. No saliences, certainly 
no sins ; 2 her merits not in any way on the surface. No one 
knew anything about the soul that might have looked out of 
those eyes, under lids heavy with doom, had she been willing to 
raise them for you. Not Georgy, nor Bessie, Emma, Mary or 
Barbara could tell what lay under that silence, behind that 
haughty sweep of the upper lip that was not all sweetness, or 
knew what source of secret pride or unblessed knowledge it was 
that reared her fine throat with its upward lift, like a lark's, about 
to sing. ... 4 

If anyone, it might have been William Allingham, who neither 
denied nor pried but accepted her secretness ; seeing her always as 
Little Bridget who had been stolen away by the fairies, come back 
from seven long years in the keeping of creatures known to be soul 
less, with their implicit, careless knowledge of things it is safe for 
mortals not to know. He never expected her to be chatty on their 
long walks to Highgate and back on summer evenings after seeing 
their friends the Howitts and the Patmores. Did Little Bridget 

1 See note 2, p. vii. 

* "* have never heard an 7 fault attributed to her" Letters of the Honourable 
Mrs. T wisleton, of America. 


on her return to her parents dare to tell everyone what she had 
seen and heard while she was among the Good People, the 
queernesses, the languors and lapses of that land where the sun 
never shines and the wind never blows and all things are seen in 
the faery underlight, as it were through a piece of smoked glass ? 
Better far had Lizzy married William Allingham who understood 
her, or run away with Algernon Swinburne 1 practising the same 
strange withdrawal of personality under a mask of satyrdom, instead 
of Gabriel Rossetti, to whom " sonnets meant insomnia/' subject 
to nervous breakdowns and hallucinations 2 even before he took 
to drugs, and with a suicide in his family. 3 And as for hers, 
nervous people all of them ! Young Lydia could not sleep unless 
she half sat up in bed, or bear the usual constriction of stays. 
Harry was weak-minded and Clara died insane. (People said 
that it was because they all wore their hair too long.) 

Nowadays one would simply call her an eccentric. 

Compared with his wife, Dante Gabriel Rossetti was more or 
less normal, self-protective, even stable in mutability. Capricious 
without being flighty, wayward as genius is wayward but knowing 
full well how far in perversity he meant to go, obstinate and 
domineering but incapable of sulks and sourness, full of swagger 
but entirely without pretentiousness. Of his habit lazy and 
lolling ; the intensity of his moral outlook, as a fire that burns 
straight, belied the supineness of his bearing. Like the lover of 
Arabella in 'Tis Pity, he conquered but did not fight. Even dour, 
carping " Scotus," the discoverer of his genius, while resenting 
the implications of this overlordship, felt the fascination that 
made everyone place " glorious Gabriel " in a different position 
qua morality from themselves and be willing to lay down their 
lives for him. 4 In the great heart of Hunt was such love for his 
friend though always between then the meeted rivalry of the 
purist and the sensualist ; 5 with their great counter pictures of 

1 Lady Jane was quite f right ened of it. 

2 See the voice that called to him on the morning of his twenty- third birthday. 
And a child of his was epileptic. 

3 In August 1821 John William Polidori died "from a subtle poison of his own 
composition." A verdict of Natural Death was returned. Set Diet. Nat. 

4 Some wag changed a letter but, indeed, P.R.B. devotion for Gabriel ran 
to that. 

6 In his heart of hearts Hunt considered Rossetti " a painter without passion " 
and his " Blessed Da g mozel " , but " a brawny wench." While Fanny was " the 
large-throated, disagreeable woman he painted so much." 


the kept lady in the Victorian drawing-room and the " twisted 
one " l at the bridge head that when the moral and monetary 
crash came and most of them streamed out to the Antipodes 
to look for gold, he hesitated long to join the exodus (to 
the Promised Land in his case), for " I do not know what I 
should do away from Gabriel." He could have borne it had he had 
the assurance that Gabriel was somewhere in the same land with 
him, but " to have the dark world between " that he would 
not " bring to pass easily, or anticipate the cold desolateness 
of Death's valley." In Palestine he heard of his friend's little 
treacheries and, without bitterness, stroked his golden beard 
and bade the Arabs fetch him the day's model, the wretched beast 
bound with the phylactery of all the crimes men do under the 
sun, wandering, outcast, on the stony beach of the Moabitish Sea. 

Selfish, Gabriel liked to help and often used his marvellous 
business capacity in the service of what Ruskin contemptuously 
called " the smaller fry that followed in his wake." After 
fascinating big buyers for himself he would attend to the others, 
and the tales of his business transactions show many picturesque 
revirements of conduct in the man who liked to be paid in guineas 
and saw to it, but who was sometimes seen emptying his pockets 
into the laps of beggars ; who told his friends to " go to the 
drawer and take whatever was wanted," and wrote to Brown on a 
certain occasion, bidding him not to be annoyed at sight of 
enclosed, 2 "which would be quite idle with me" and could be re 
funded when Cromwell or the portraits went home. 

It had suddenly struck him that Brown, after some 
great "botheration" or other, must be inconvenienced. Brown 
refused it. 

Ruskin, with the percipience of the sex-stultified, got Rossetti 
best " a great Italian living in England " instead of in a Catholic 
country where a man may wipe out a crime or a peccadillo in the 
confessional and die, leaving pious wishes and penances to be 
liquidated by gifts and candles and the prayers of women 3 
after his death. He was doing the best he could in this austerer 
land, the "could" shortened by the strength of his animal passions, 
due corollary of the Colour-Sense which is such precious bane. 
Hampered in his art by lack of mastery of the medium, 

1 Defence of Guenevere. 

2 A cheque, 

3 " Dear Old Antique " (as he called his mother) and Christina did that for him. 

.^'>5***^ -v -- 

Ely kind permission of Mrs. Michael 


From an oil painting by 
William Holman Hunt 

he knew it, with, the sad, inward eye of the artist turned on the 
faults that clipped his wings. Out loud he prided himself on his 
neglect of the usual processes for clearing, collocating and adjust 
ing the clotted mass of the raw findings of genius. And his were 
very clotted " The simple, the natural, the naive were insipid 
in his mouth " ; 1 he demanded the strongest savours in Art and 
Literature not so much perhaps in Life ! 

He did not love Nature or encourage her appeal, except in so 
far as he could bring her into romantic relation with himself. 
Lush, tree-shadowed, bewitched country inspired him with the 
lovely melancholy which was, as artists say of pictures, the 
" eye " of his poetry ; wooded groves where he could feign to 
see the red blood of a suicide staining and the tears of a mourner 
drenching the secret stream and its banks, the alder over the dark 
green leaves that carpet the floor of our English woods 

With tear-spurge wan, and bloodwort burning red. 

He means wood-spurge. Without even knowing its name he 
remembers that this plant has a cup of three. He took all that in, 
sitting with Scott once on Brignal Banks (which he chooses to call 
Willow Wood), his forehead between his knees, his eyes wide 
open, in some dreadful agony of remembrance 

From perfect grief there need not be 
Wisdom or even memory. 

With bravura he carried off his narrowness, his lack of all 
interest in ethics, the why and the wherefore of our existence. 
He was not sure if the earth moved round the sun, and what 
matter if it did not ? Without a bean's worth of faith he Jays 
claim to the female Intercession that Catholics invoke 

O Mary Mother, be not loth 

To listen, Thou whom the stars clothe. 

Surely the first a-moral person to exist delightfully in those 
austere Victorian fields, and managing to get a strain of mysticism 
as well as sensuality into his pictures, live to see his Magdalens 
and Belcolors nicely housed on the walls of sober, righteous and 
respectable patrons, his naked figures of Love into reredos or 
triptych and the light shining on their limbs through stained- 
glass windows in churches all over the country ! 

For this man, who later was accused of " wheeling his nuptial 

1 Allingham 

couch into the street," was devout in youth, brought up by a 
mother who went to church regularly but who could never bear 
to hear the lesson read that tells of the organized slaughter of the 
Priests of Baal by Elijah, or bring herself to believe that Socrates 
would be condemned by Him to eternal torment, wrote, when 
he was nineteen, two poems which may be said to hold as much 
as he chose to assimilate of his mother's religious training, The 
Blessed Damozel and Jenny. From early youth his two principal 
motor ideas, apart from self, were of redemption, through the 
intercession, and the remission of sins through the tears and prayers 
of a Saviour Woman. And the reciprocity must be mutual. 
Antedating the tactics of Butler and Gladstone, he and his friends 
started the Rescue Work of the 'fifties, patrolling the streets 
solemnly every night in parties of two or three, expostulating, 
preaching and getting themselves laughed at. 

His sisters were obsessed all their lives long with this idea of 
moral salvage : 1 careful, delicate females without the zest 
of the hunt to inspirit them, reading aloud to sulky fallen women 
in grey-walled Homes at Highgate and in Portobello Road. 
Christina's own earthly passion was frustrate : her Prince made 
no Progress " Too late for Joy, the Bride was dead." Her 
saudades, 2 as her friend Howell called it, found expression and 
gained zest in the act of cherishing all wretched, despoiled and 
hunted things. Like many old maids she was devoted to animals, 
furry, feathered and the smaller the better. Once in Regent's 
Park she had looked out of her window at dawn and seen a wave 
of yellow light sweep up from the trees and fill the still dreaming 
glades. ... It was all the canaries escaped from all the cages in 
London and agreed among themselves never to go back to cap 
tivity. Her brother always meant to paint it. 

Had she cared more for humans the catastrophe of 1874 might 
have been averted and the soul of a brother been saved from 
the Purgatory she steadily believed in. One wonders if she had 
time to think of this on that night in Spring when, a maiden 
lady, bonnetless, she went out, to deal double raps at a 
physician's door and get him to come and put Gabriel out of his 
laudanum sleep, procured from the dregs of a bottle first used ever 
so many years ago. A saint, doubled regrettably with a dis- 

1 Reading of Dickens' Martha and her thoughts of suicide had helped to put 
the idea in their heads, not to speak of Little Em'ly, " found." 

2 Saudades. Portuguese word for meing remorse. 


agreeable woman, she had the justness, the intuitive taste of the 
peasant Marie Claire together with the passion of Soeur Marie 
Angelique who had been La Valliere. She had sent away 
Collinson, whom she loved, for religious reasons, but, meeting 
him in the street a month afterwards, fainted away on William's 
arm and dropped her painting for good as a mortification. Her 
motives were misconstrued by one near to her : 

" Christina finds Art interferes with the legitimate exercise of 
anguish and insists on going on dreaming of a lifelong ill," said 
the ever-candid relation. 

Olive-skinned, with deep brown eyes that showed sometimes 
the white over the pupils sign of her inherent malady Christina 
had much temperament. Quiet, still and brooding, she had 
plumbed depths that Lizzy never knew and there was more 
passion in her little finger than in the other's whole white 

" It is over at last, the terrible pain." Now, broken and shaken 
in her own esteem, she haunted the portals of convents and im 
posed on herself penances for a contemplated sin. "There's blood 
between us, Love, my Love. . . ." Not blood but a wife. For 
Collinson, 1 when she threw him over a second time, consoled himself. 

The secret has been well kept, but with poets, murder will 
soonest out. She could never, in verse, keep off the subject, 
so dreadful then to the lay mind that no one had the moral 
hardihood to read between the lines. 2 

" For there's no love like a sister's. ..." Maria did not, like 
Laura to save Lizzy, hold converse and traffic with goblin men 
on the hillside and eat their delicious, deadly fruits or, like 
Meredith's beauty of Bath, 3 need to hang herself as a deterrent on 
the threshold which the delinquent must pass. But for a week of 
nights the kind, sonsy creature crouched on the mat by the 
house door and saved her sister from the horrors of an elope 
ment with a man who belonged to another. 

The fits of peculiar sadness that Ruskin observed in both 
Gabriel and Lizzy he may have set down to their lineage 
scions both of a family Gabriel's certainly which had in the 
past expended its energies in political effort. Maybe the 
physical disabilities entailed by the proscription and subsequent 
wanderings of the father, as a fugitive, had diminished in the 

1 Collinson, a P.R.B., had married the Sister of an R.A, (one of the worst). 

2 Of her brother's preface to Goblin Market. 

3 He told me he had founded Tbt Story of Chlof on this incident. 


son the power of resistance to what may come, fostered his 
dreadful laisser-aller, laisser-faire, his withdrawal from the 
decisions of life other than the arrangement of a few lines and 
colours more colours than lines on a canvas or a piece of 
Whatman paper, and his brutal envisagement of matters pertain 
ing to the emotions has a hunted patriot a right to any but 
political ones ? He had a low opinion of women " Yes, they 
are ever so much nicer when they have lost their virtue." * 
Stunners all : divided broadly into useful, approachable Blessed 
Damozels and women " nascent for Hell." He had no " Cousin 
Nell " 2 to set against Jenny : he was not, as a matter of fact, 
acquainted with any woman who would have been called " a 
lady" in those days and chose to attribute to them all the 
morality of servant-girls. 3 He spoke slightingly of Brown's 
Emma and, called to account, apologised in uncomplimentary 
terms "I regard all women as being absolutely loose-tongued 
and unreliable, so that to suggest such qualities in one of them does 
not seem to me particularly disrespectful." 

Lizzy had breeding her every gesture shows it. But simple, 
unsuggestible, obstinate as a child, in the wrong places, though 
Gabriel could sweep her off her feet in his hustle, charm her with 
his voice that lulled the tempest and rode the storms she raised. 
Yet, even convinced, she could not accommodate herself to his 
meretricious adaptations, Jesuitical reservations, or realise, for the 
artist, the need of variety as a stimulus to invention, by a sort of 
immoral tour de main confounding the sensations, the sensi 
bilities evoked by one model with those set up by another 

as in the tales of Masuccio and Bandello where a lover enjoys two 
women in the same night, She could not forgive those apt 
processes of substitution in the moral and artistic order 
which, instead of shocking and estranging, in the end please and 
convince. The Arch of Marius at Saint R&ny de Provence is 

1 So he told Frederick Shields. 

2 My cousin Nell is fond of fun, 
And fond of dress, and change, and praise, 

My cousin Nell is fond of love 
And she's the girl I'm proudest of. 
Who does not prize her, guard her well ? 

3 All his life he preferred to find his loves among the proletariat the daughters 
of carpenters blacksmiths and livery-stable keepers. To the one real " lady who 
came within his provenance he did not propose, and she would not have taken him. 


subtly irregular : the Maison Carree at Nimes looks so well 
because it has one column less on the south side. 1 The Madonna 
adored by both Ruskin and Proust is black, and a head painted by 
Rossetti, for which Mrs. Morris sat, is so distinctly Semitic in cast 
and feature that it might stand for Naaman's little Syrian maid. 

Her last words were prompted by jealousy, not the dislike 
of being left by herself, for she took a positive pleasure in lone 
liness ; see her wilful claustrations in Chatham Place, her resort 
to the wildwood at Scalands and Matlock, lying like a hunted 
animal in the long grass. Fanny, in the end, had grown to be a 
habit, so there is some other reason to seek for suicide. Her 
jealousy was not of Janey that was spared her or of " My 
Lady Audley," unobtainable or Annie Miller, giddy but equally 
so. 2 All of them were good to paint ; he wanted something 
coarser to live with, more like Byron's Marianna Segati " Vacca 
tua> Eccellenza ! " Fanny ! William Bell Scott introduced him 
to her. 

William Bell Scott, " the Northern Vitruvius," or " Scotus " as 
his friends called him, always said that it was he who really 
discovered Gabriel. 

Artist as well as poet : when the cards were shuffled by Sir 
Henry Cole, he had left off being a Stunner so said Kenny 
Meadows, who invented the phrase and taken the place of 
Bellenden Kerr in Newcastle as Head of the School of Design. 
He didn't paint much more but resigned himself to be Pictor 
Ignotus, " a painter without recognition," taking the privilege 
of lashing his erstwhile competitors in the race with a bitter 
ness they did not relish and hit back. 3 He was married to a 

1 The Soldiers' Memorial at Hyde Park Corner is not quite rectangular. 

2 Grant Allen saw the making of a novel in the whole affair but he never wrote it. 
Annie Miller is the one Pre-Raphaelite heroine who has, perhaps out of considera 
tion for these two men, been sedulously " kept dark " ; references to her in P.R.B. 
memoirs are scanty, though, in the 'sixties and 'seventies, her name was on every 
one of their tongues. 

3 Scotus " impressive as a truthful and understanding person can be and that 
is little or nothing," says Patmore, who ticked off people rather well. Rossetti 
always gave him " the impression of tenacity rather than intensity." " Impressive 
in his way but, as to his output, a null he is and ever will be," said Carlyle. Rossetti's 
own mild contribution was, " Scott warps things ! " together with a nice sketch of 
his Stunner, whose connection with him was purely honorific though it saddened 
poor little Mrs. Laetitia. 


woman who had been very pretty 1 and who was always a 
" character " Miss Laetitia Norquoy, the daughter of a rich 
Ceylonese tea-planter. 

Fanny or Sarah Cox (afterwards Hughes), like Lizzy, was 
of good family stock. The Hyltons dated from long before the 
Conquest, the family originating in the mythological union of 
one of Odin's ravens with a Saxon maiden. Her uncle quartered 
the arms of Hylton of Hylton Castle. One Thomas Hilton was 
bailiff of " Roon " when Joan was burnt. Her mother, a Hylton, 
and her father, a Cornforth, were both heir to estates lost through 
attainder. She had a great-uncle living in her native town of 
Darlington, old Tommy Bowes, who could never eat butcher's 
meat because it reminded him of the smell of roasting rebels in 
the market-place. Twice a Jacobite, she was also allied to the 
Vanes. One of the daughters of old Richard Hylton had married 
the son of Albinia, posthumous daughter of Sir Harry Vane, 
begotten in the Tower the night before his execution (after 
the premeditated fashion of the Abbesse de Jouarre in the 
prison of the Abbaye). And Albinia's son, styling himself the 
Honourable Harry Vane, left a dole to the poor of Darlington. 

Elizabeth Hylton, great-grandmother of Sarah Cox, was a 
queer, obstinate, romantic figure about whom Rossetti, with his 
predilection for the hard-bitten North, its legends, its savage 
romance, was never tired of hearing. He prized Fanny's tales of 
the beautiful ancestress who, in her youth, lived in a "hall-house" 2 
that is to say, a house into which you did not burst at once into 
the living-room, because it had a porch built in front of it at the 
spot where Westmorland, Cumberland and Durham meet. 

She was the daughter of " a retired captain in the army " 
periphrasis used to denote persons who did not exist for their 
country's good such as Catholics and Jacobites. The Earl 
of Seaforth had taken part in the 'Fifteen and, pardoned, 
lived in exile. But his son Lord Fortrose came out in 

1 Conscious that her value was deeply impaired by the illness which deprived her 
of her looks and half her wits, Miss Norquoy offered to release him from his engage 
ment but he gallantly refused. So she early accepted the existence of a " noble 
and queenly rival "so her husband naively puts it" and had faith in us both." 
Rightly enough. Alice Boyd was a sweet woman, a sister of Hugh Spencer Boyd, 
Scott's dead friend, whose spirit-messages got through and converted Scott to 
Spiritualism. Alice Boyd had inherited a castle in Ayrshire and shares in a rich 
seam of coal. 

2 Hall-House a gentleman's mansion. Teesdale Glossary. 


the 'Forty-five, and his wife too. Elizabeth Hylton was living 
with her and her daughters at Coxhoe Hall near Durham, where 
a certain John Cornforth was bailiff, when, like a Suffragette of 
our own day, Lady Fortrose chose to take part in her husband's 
campaign " leading some few of the Mackenzies " while he was 
with Lord Loudoun and Mr, Mackintosh, whose wife also was 
helping him to be in two places at once. 1 

Elizabeth Hylton looked after the children while their mother 
was leading armies, but she would not go to France with them 
afterwards, for she had fallen in love with the son of the bailiff 
and married him nine years later, when all was quiet again. 

The Cornforths, a splendid yeoman stock, had held property 
in the neighbourhood of Darlington since the fourteenth century 
and their name figures in most of the leases, with their dangling 
seals, of lands, and messuages in the neighbourhood. They had 
been in rebellion too. 2 A Cornforth of Blackwell was in the 
Rising of the North. William Cornforth of Manfield was a 
fine rider and the terror of all the horse-thieves and smugglers 
who infested Weardale. 3 

Fanny Cox inherited her good sense and efficiency from her 
mother's family, whose name she adopted professionally, but she 
had all the passion of her remoter ancestress, whom, so she had been 
told, she resembled, an immensely fine woman with blue eyes 
and the yellow hair of the family. One of his schoolfellows 
remembered the long hair of Freeman Hylton hanging down his 
back in ringlets, in the manner of a wig in Charles IPs time. 
His sister had it too. She was the life of the rustic Academy at 
Denton, near by Hylton, remembered for her little frauds, 
promising apricots, peaches and such rare fruit from her ancestral 
acres in order to get her sums done for her. The Hylton garden 
boasted nothing but plums and apples : her father had obtained 
a decree by which he had recovered his estate but, as so often 
happened with lands long forfeited, the revenue was not equal 
to the charges and the last Baron of Hylton had large ideas. . . . 
He italianated his house and died. 

1 London Gazette, March 2nd, 1746 : " If this be a contrivance it may save or 
lose their heads, according as the word WIFE is understood." 

2 Quietly and warily, they contributed to all the local Doles by which the good 
Catholics compensated for heady evil deeds in those days and so saved their souls 
and estates alive. There was the Sober Dole a Cornforth Christian name the 
Forster Dole, distributed with the much larger Cornforth Dole. 

3 There is a place called Cornforth's Leap which he negotiated on his celebrated 
charger that he fed on bread and beer when unable to get a feed of corn for it. 


Fanny had managed to get hold of the Hylton seal (pointed, 
elliptic, a lozenge with a chevron between three fleurs de lys) 
and divers lockets and portraits. She had seen the family 
cradle before the last Baron sold it and the chrism-cloth of red, 
silver and gold thread in which all the Hyltons were baptised. 
She cut up for Rossetti some splendid brocade dresses and satins 
" that stood alone," and adapted to her own use the " visiting 
dresses " of Mary Ann Hylton, the promiser of peaches, who died 
unmarried of consumption before she was twenty-five. 1 

Rossetti found the brocade scraps useful, and impressive the 
legends of Hylton, its derelict corridors full of raddled pillars, 
its music gallery with ceiling painted by Vercelli, through which 
the north wind now whistled and where the good wife churned 
amid life-sized statues of Venus, Cupid and Minerva. But he who 
wrote Jan Fan Hunks was as deeply interested in the plebeian 
annals of the Cornforths and would savour on his tongue the queer 
names of their properties Towneland, Malande, Stickbitchland 
and enjoy Fanny's description of the family mansion in Black- 
wellgate, where she had stayed as a girl, the house door, with a 
cruciform knocker, clamped with iron, that would have resisted 
an invasion by the Scots, and the " colour " of the wood, dark, 
rich and shiny like petrified oil. There was a well in the middle of 
the house in case of siege and the ghost, Old Pinckney, roamed 
o ? nights in his red nightcap, so that no one liked to be afoot after 
nightfall. 2 

" Little things touch secret springs " and Mr. Scott came 
to be responsible for that ill-starred clumsy picture which pro 
cured Rossetti's quarrel with Hunt and led his steps to the Place 
of the Gnashing of Teeth where his ruin was finally con 

A bright lad in Edinburgh, walking back from Portobello 
one night, Scott had come across a poor, starved street-walker 
called Rosabell Bonalley. She was of a French colony there and, 
en tout bien, tout honneur (Scott was the most cantankerous but 
the most chivalrous of men), he gave her supper and sent her 
home. Not long after he wrote a poem called Mary Anne and 
published it in a magazine. 

1 The male blood of the Hyltons died out with Henry Hylton, a spirit merchant 
in Barnard Castle, with blue eyes and a golden beard ; and a midshipman, R.N., 
ridiculously yellow-haired too" the last leaves on a blasted tree." 

2 Things are altered. The house is now an inn The Fleece. 


Another youth in London read it and wrote enthusiastically to 
the author. It was the beginning of a life-friendship between 
the two men. Mr. Gabriel Charles Rossetti suggested a volume 
and promised to illustrate the poem as soon as he could " beg, 
buy or steal the copper to etch it on." He posted to Newcastle 
three of his own magazine attempts, giving Scott the chance to 
say afterwards that he had " made " him. Perhaps he did ? 
For Rosabell proved to be the very navel, the hub, of 
Rossetti's particular complex in its first and last expression. 
In order to get the background he took Chatham Place. The 
model for it was already in his eye. So we get Rosabell Bonalley 
of Portobello with the face of Fanny Hughes of Wapping, 1 
the fine and the abject : the piteous and the unregenerate : the 
spiritual and the sumptuous crouching by the Bridge, sick and 
averse, while the lover she has left for the voluptuary, pulls her 
chin round like a policeman about to move on a vagrant and, 
in so doing, recognises his old sweetheart " gone on the town." 
The subject of this picture with its touching legend 2 was so near 
the inner core of the painter's feeling that he seemed to be 
inhibited from finishing it. Gabriel's " Bridge Picture " ended 
by becoming an imposthume, a dreary responsibility that his 
friends often spoke of as they might of a deformed bastard child 
that a doting father will cling to. Fanny was its mother poor 
Fanny with her strayed aitches " I know I don't say h'it right ! " 
came to suit him better than the other woman brooding in 
her still preciosity at Chatham Place or lying kicking on the 
Browns' hearthrug in her paroxysms of rage. 

Found , or The Drover, or The Bridge Picture, or Lost, as 
Mr. Leatheart called it, first commissioned in 1853, was 
" married " to three people McCracken, Leatheart and Graham. 
Its last mate was Samuel Bancroft, Jun., of Rockford, Wilmington, 
Del. It needed a bridge, a cart, a countryman, a calf and a 
harlot. Fanny sat for the harlot. Brown sat for the country 
man and got him the calf, and Millais got him the cart. " A 
dreadfully difficult subject," says Ruskin discreetly. He hated 
it and it may have been his fault that it was never finished, to the 
lifelong vexation of the four gentlemen who at different times 

1 Rossetti's portraits are never likenesses. He makes Meredith look like Howell 
and Howell like the Angel Gabriel, while into Fanny's smug face (as seen in the 
photograph she sent to Mrs. Hemblen) he put all the pathos and tragedy begotten 
of her stormy days with her " incumbrance " a drunkard and a waster. 

2 " I remember thee, the kindness of thy youth and the love of thy betrothal." 


commissioned it. The last commission, given in 1859, was for 
three hundred and fifty guineas. After Rossetti died Burne- 
Jones touched it up and sent it off to America. 

At the top of the tree, with an income of four figures thanks to 
Charles Augustus Howell, scorning academic honours (Jenny 
Morris told me that Mr. Rossetti had said that, if the Royal 
Academy were to elect him at any time, he would immediately 
put the matter into the hands of his solicitor), two short sentences 
concerning the author of The Blessed Damozel spoken in my 
hearing stand out in my mind. I have never forgotten them and 
the emphasis with which they were delivered. Sitting at the 
round, rickety, varnished table in the house on the canal, 
from which the albums were shoved aside for the tea-tray at 
which Miss Sarianna Browning presided, I heard Mr. Browning 
say in his so loud and guttural voice, " I never can forgive 

And another crashing sentence came from between the 
patriarchally bearded lips of Mr. Holman Hunt in answer to my 
mother's question, as he stood in the studio in Warwick Road 
(where the big flats are now), mixing his paints with Jordan water 
out of a bottle. " No, I never see Gabriel now ... his life is 
so bad." And then, " He behaved very ill to the poor girl he 
married. 1 . . . Just before her end he went to see her and 
promised to marry her if only she would get well. . . . They 
had been growing more and more apart. . . ." His voice 
trailed off as if the subject disgusted him. 

I did so want to know, not so much about her, as about him 
the man who had written the poem I had learned to repeat before 
I could read. One dark rainy evening, walking after painting 
hours with my father near our house, I asked him to tell me 
about Mr. Rossetti. With a seriousness quite inexplicable to 
me and rather appalling, he answered, "I cannot. You had 
better ask your Mamma, or Professor Ellis. He is the only 
man who knows anything about him now." 

Pressed, he gave his reason, using the same expression that 
Mr. Hunt had used Victorian for " that kind of thing." 

Yet I remembered Sunday mornings, sometimes, when I was 
let ^ walk with my nurse as far as I could go and sent back 
while my parents went on to breakfast with Mr. Rossetti. I 

1 These long engagements have the worst effect on women. Tennyson's Emily 
spent most of her after marriage life on a chaise longue. 


heard about it afterwards, when he had gone down into the 
long, stuffy night of chloral. He would open the door himself 
in his dirty Chinese dressing-gown, unshaven, unwashed, and 
receive them and cherish them as he alone knew how. 
Nothing romantic about him but the soft Italian voice and the 
wonderful eyes, with the bar of Michelangelo across the brows, 
so that she who afterwards described him to me, said that one 
could refuse him nothing, 

But soon the walks stopped. Fanny was his housekeeper en 
titre and & domicile, so gentlemen could not take their wives 
there any more. 

Ruskin was the only person, so far as I am aware, who never, after 
Mrs. Rossetti's death, committed himself to an opinion either 
about her or her husband. Just as he never spoke of his own 
Effie excepting perhaps a veiled allusion " one other person 
of whom I do not suppose you are thinking " in a savage letter 
to Miss Octavia Hill forty years or so after. 

But there is one voice raised in defence of Gabriel. It comes 
from Germany and is reinforced by a member of Gabriel's own 

" I cannot get rid of the idea that this so renowned Miss 
Siddal, because she was cold and self-centred, had a monstrously 
evil influence on Rossetti's development." So says Professor 
Levin S chucking, and, in answer to his request for corro- 
boration, the other admits that "he is not far wrong. Of 
course Miss Siddal was a disagreeable and acid person with a 
very cold temperament." But he grants her " immense and 
devastating charm and a remarkable character to set against her 
terrible bad temper," which made her life with his distinguished 
relation " a series of violent scenes one after another." 

She was " pretentious," the Professor goes on to suggest, 
" easily offended, touchy, self-contained, cold and unemotional." 
But, on the other hand, Rossetti had " little use for the gentler 
virtues." Still, he " gave the gold of his purest feelings, re 
ceiving as it were, copper coins in exchange." Doctor Schucking 
quotes her two terrible letters which seemingly are all that have 
been preserved and comes to the conclusion that, " Once they 
were married, disillusionment was sure to follow." 

Worse. Suicide. To the Professor this act must have 
appeared some sort of an outrage on Art, like throwing a bomb at 
a fine public building. What ! Saddle a great painter with the 


pangs of remorse ; better far the chemise Isabella or the obedience 
of Fair Helen, fording the stream on foot at the side of her 
mounted lover 

I pray to God, CHlde Waters, 
You never will see me swim. 

(But he did and they got through somehow and, that night, she 
" had her young son born " and the Childe married her because 
she had been so good.) 

It is certain that their two morbidities crashed. Lizzy was far 
too ill to marry. He felt the reluctance of the healthy male to 
beget his children on a phthisical subject, condemned to the 
deadliest forms of relief for pain. She could not, actually, eat 
without " taking something," or He down when the attack was 

She taught him to drug : Stillman, who is generally con 
sidered responsible for this, only provided him with a neater, 
more modern remedy for remorse. 

One windy autumn afternoon at the Scotts' I was bored in 
the drawing-room and strayed out by the queer underground 
kitchen-study way into the garden, all nettles and weeds and 
straggling things as tall as I was, long grass unmown pressing 
up against the windows of an old stable and some sheds, with 
half red, half white panes broken in places. ... I looked in 
through a crack and saw the great derelict picture Dantis 
Dream which, for the present, Mr. Scott was housing for his 
distinguished neighbour a few yards further down the road. 
The danger was that he might spoil it by re-touching.' He 
was now unfit to handle it. 

Then I went in; to Mamma and Mr. Scott and his two 
Egerias in the dining-room with the great bow window, its 
window-boxes full of wilted plants that gave on the bridge and 
the little bit of garden nestling just under it. Miss Boyd got up 
suddenly and went to the window, which was open, for it was a 
mild evening. Mrs. Scott said " Tea ! " but she did not come away 
and we joined her and looked out. In the whole street there was 
only one man and he was immediately under the sill. I could have 
leant out and touched his head. His itinerary along the Embank 
ment parapet had been broken by the bridge and the bit of More's 
Garden. He had his pardessus 1 " hugged up," as these North- 
1 I have it now. It fell to a relation of mine, 

country people said, over his face so that he looked like a 

" Gabriel ! " Mrs. Scott exclaimed. 

No one, much, saw him now except a young adorer from 
Liverpool who had driven Watts 1 away, and his old friend 
Frederick Shields, who tempered the narcotic with water whenever 
he got the chance. And there was a spiritualist fellow who 
called now and again. As for women, only Janey Morris 
(" Scarecrow," as she chose to call herself since her illness) and 
the beautiful Miss Herbert who came up from Brighton once to see 
him, for old sake's sake. She was shown into the dining-room, 
with its long table and heavy brocade cloth reaching to the ground 
and, when she had waited a^few minutes alone, out crept her host 
from under it, on all-fours. She never came again. 

After using up all his best Delft plates as missiles, even Fanny 
left him, though, like King Charles for Nelly, he had a last word 
for her and the suggestion of a cheque to be sent as many 
a time before. " I am writing to tell The Elephant that she 
may expect you at 36 Royal Avenue. When you or she tell 
me ... I will disgorge my leading function in life being to do 


Like Browning, I never can forgive Rossetti. 

My sources for this Life are chiefly oral, from the circumstances 
of my childhood and early girlhood, spent much in the company of 
the actors in the scenes I am attempting to describe, wandering 
o' mornings in and out of their houses with messages and, older, 
with a good book in my hand which I did not read, hearkening as 
a servant waiting at table might, to words that I only half under 
stood. The Cloud of Witnesses have set down, many of them, 
afterwards what they judged meet of their garnered memories, 
in chastened, more academic language, instead of giving the hot 
sentences that come from the entrails as well as the heart : le mot 
cru as well as le mot juste. Allingham did not count Fanny's lost 
aitches or William Rossetti, moved by brotherly love and con 
sideration for posterity, cross Gabriel's t's. For the painful and 

1 I never shall forget Watts' vexation when Hall Caine got in first with his " Life " 
and " fingered the bloom off Gabriel." ^ . 


homely sensations procured in persons present at the exhumation 
of the poems I refer them to Mr. Virtue Tebbs' account of this 
ceremony. The exact terms of the message to her husband 
written in pencil on a bit of paper pinned that night in February 
to the front of Lizzy's nightgown were never given to the public 
by Mr. Madox Brown who found them. Nor did he publish 
or even finish the sonnet, wrung from him by the sight of her 
lying there. In the appendix of this volume will be found a 
draft of one of a whole Sequence embodying a later experience 
of the author's. In the margin, scrawled in pencil, are the letters 
D.G.R. Emotion remembered, in what could never be 
tranquillity, for the fiery Father of the Pre-Raphaelites ! 

Gradually, in the process of time, the details of some of these 
happenings drifted into volumes in which the Faithful strove 
to justify or condemn their idol's behaviour. I give the names 
and the publishers of some of these books that enshrine 
modified versions of sentences that came hot, blurted out in 
Pre-Raphaelite simplicity and directness, from lips now sealed 
in death. For, with nearly all the persons concerned in this 
ancient woe, I have held converse in my degree, except with 
the chief protagonist, who died before I was born. Her husband 
I have seen in the street, but his head was muffled up, as it were 
in a monk's cowl. But I remember well his sister Christina and 
her broad bosom in dove-coloured silk wreathed in black lace. 
And his brother William, with his bald head and red lips. I 
remember Morris' Viking eyes and Mrs. Morris' hair, her ghostly 
beauty like a blasted tree or a sprig of mistletoe ; and Georgy 
Jones like a little brown bird, and Effie Millais, a handsome 
Scotch lassie, dressed in her criarie crocus gowns. I remember 
Brbwn's flowing beard, Hunt's darling snub nose and Browning's 
guttural voice and Millais' hoarse one, a year before he died. 
And Mr. Scott's wigs, that he changed monthly to simulate 
growth, and Theodore Watts with his walrus moustache and 
gipsy eyes. He never let me see "My Swinburne." 

Listening humbly, not putting in my word, so as to get all I 
could without frightening them by the expression of my almost 
elfish interest in Pre-Raphaelitism, its errors and its glory, to 
Mr. Holman Hunt, painting away in my father's studio : to 
Millais, smoking endless shilling pipes there or walking round and 
round me in his own to see how I "came" in my Greek 
dress : to my Corsican governess, home from sitting to Rossetti. 

Taken all round, the most fruitful sources of information were 


talk with and perusal of the diaries and letters of those dear 
arch-gossips, Mr. and Mrs. Bell Scott, Mr. and Mrs. Virtue 
(" Virtuous ") Tebbs, Mr. and Mrs. George Boyce and Mr. and 
Mrs. Frederic Stephens. My debt to Mr. and Mrs. Allingham 
tops all the others. To them I owe most of the details of the 
domestic life of one who had, alas, but little feeling for it. I have 
been thrown generous scraps from the store of Messrs. Ricketts 
and Shannon, Mr. Arthur Waugh, Sir William Rothenstein and 
Sir Hall Caine, but they had, all the time, memoirs in them, which 
the public have absorbed by now. So had poor, disappointed 
Theodore Watts (later Dunton), estopped by the last named, 
from writing his version of Rossetti's life. But he let himself go 
in the company of my mother and me every Sunday evening for 
many years. 

To Mr. William Rossetti I am deeply indebted for the result 
of meetings at the house of Mary Robinson in Earl's Terrace 
and his own in Euston Square (to which he makes flattering 
reference in his Recollections), showing and lending me sketches 
and MSS. of which his sister-in-law's escritoire had been full. 

And to all these that follow my best thanks. 

For John Ruskin, universal godfather to the P.R.B., who sponsored 
a sister of mine, to his cousin Miss Lucy Richardson. To another distant 
relation, Mrs. Joan Severn, her husband Arthur and a relation of his, Sir 
Charles Newton. To Ruskin's pupil, Miss Constance Milliard, and Miss 
Grace Allen, daughter of the clever carpenter to the estate (who eventually 
became Ruskin's publisher and whose mother occupied a position 
of trust in the household at Herne Hill), and her uncle John Hobbes. 
And another of Ruskin's valets, the sinister Mr. Crawley. To old Anne 
for the ghost story of Bowerswell. To my grandfather the Reverend 
James Raine, Sir George Otto Trevelyan and one of Ruskin's lawyers, 
Mr. Albert Fleming. 

And, of all people, to Sir John Millais, whose verdict on his wife's ex- 
husband was kind and almost tender. " A very good fellow ! " as he 
turned the pages of my birthday book. 

To Robert Browning and his sister Sarianna and his son Pen and 
their friends Monsieur Milsand and Miss Henriette Corkran. This 
lady published her memoirs, but did not, oddly enough, enliven them with 
the wonderful stories she told me. To Mrs. Sutherland Orr, her father 
Doctor Leighton and her brother, the President of the Royal Academy. 

To Sir John Swinburne of Capheaton (" Cousin John "), and his second 
wife, and Sir Hubert and Lady Swinburne for a night in Swinburne's 
old home. 

To the late Mrs. Vane Thomas, who brushed the hair of Pre-Raphaelite 
ladies, for Morris and life at Kelmscott. 


To Mrs. Lockwood Kipling, Lady Poynter, Miss Edith Macdonald and 
their only brother Harry. To Harry's college friend Wilfred Healey and 
his second wife Josephine, for Burne-Jones and life in Kensington Square 
and The Grange. 

To Mr. Ford Madox Brown and his wife Emma and his daughter 
Lucy (Mrs. William Rossetti), his second daughter Catherine (Mrs. 
Hueffer), and his son Nolly, who died young, and their servant, old 

To the Deverell family, and especially to Mrs. Wykeham Deverell, the 
wife of Mr. Deverell's eldest son and sister-in-law of Walter, Spenser, 
Margaretta and Maria. She gave me leave to use the letters included in 
an unpublished memoir Jby herself, of Walter Deverell, now in the Fitz- 
william Museum at Cambridge. 

To Madame Bodichon (Barbara Leigh-Smith), Madame Belloc (Bessie 
Parkes), Mrs. Alaric Alexander Watts (Anna Mary Howitt) and their maid, 
Henrietta Blackadder and to Mr. Leigh-Smith (who lives there now), for the 
life at Scalands Gate and a sight of the room where Rossetti proposed, 
and to Mrs. Kennedy for letting me go over the Cottage where the 
engagement was broken off. 

To Mrs. Stillman (Marie Spartali) and to the Greek Colony (as we used 
to call it), staunch patrons of the P.R.B. To the lonides sisters, 
Chariclea, Aglaia and Euterpe and, above all, to their brother Luke. 

To Mr. H. T. Wells and his sister Augusta ; Mr. Briton Riviere ; Sir 
Luke Fildes ; Lord De Tabley and Lord Lovelace. 

To George Meredith and his friend Edward Clodd. 

To Mrs. Richmond Ritchie and her sister-in-law, Pinkie. 

To Sir George Donaldson. 

To Sir Harry Johnstone. 

To Mr. William De Morgan. 

To Mr. and Mrs. Joseph Pennell, Mrs. Russell Barrington, Mrs. Felix 
Moscheles, Mr. George du Maurier, Mrs. Jopling Rowe, Sir John and 
Lady Simon, Sir Leslie Stephen, Mr. Frederic Leyland, Miss Bell and 
Miss Heaton. 

To my father's confreres of the Old Water-Colour Society, Sir John 
Gilbert, Messrs. Harry Hine, Inchbold, Henry Wallis and Arthur Hughes 
and his friends J. McNeil Whistler and John Brett, R.A. ' 

For much local and family history I am indebted to Mr. W. R. Free- 
mantle, of Barbot Hall, Masbro', and Dr. John Stokes, and to Mr. W. G. 
Wells of Sheffield for an introduction to these gentlemen 

To Mr. S. M. Ellis for all sorts of help. 

To Mr. James Laver. 

To Mr. Sydney Cockerell. 

For permission to use photographs of Chatham Place, to the Librarians 
respectively, of the Guildhall and County Hall. To the Rev. E. G! ' 
O'Donoghue, author of the standard history of Bridewell, for a visit to the 
Court Room and much data. 
To Dr. G. C. Williamson. 
To Mr. Enrol Sherson. 


To Mr. Lionel Tebbs and Miss Evelyn Tebbs for the use of photographs 
out of their family album. 

To Messrs. Maggs and Messrs. Tregaskis for permission to read letters 
in their possession. 

To Professor Levin Schiicking, of Leipzig, for perhaps the only 
adverse criticism of my heroine. 

And, above all, to Miss Elizabeth Eleanor Higgins, Mrs. Rossetti's 
great-niece (who has been good enough to make out and attest her 
for me), and to her mother, daughter of Lydia. And to Mrs. George 
Button, her aunt, who has kindly allowed me . to have reproduced the 
daguerreotype which appears as the frontispiece of this volume, the only 
likeness I have ever seen dpne from life. 




(From a photograph) 



(From an oil painting by William Holman Hunt) 


(From an oil painting by William Holman Hunt) 

FORD MADOX BROWN .......... 6 

(From a photograph) 


(From a photograph) 


(From a photograph) 


(From a photograph) 


(From a drawing by D. G. Rossttti) 


(From a photograph) 


(From a photograph) 


(From a photograph) 


(From a painting by D. G. Rossetti) 


(From a drawing by D. G. Rossetti) 


(From a photograph) 


(From a photograph) 




{From a photograph] 

(From a drawing by Ford Madox Brown] 

FANNY HUGHES ........... 122 

(From an oil painting by D. G. Rossctti] 


(From a drawing by D. G. Rossetti] 


(From a photograph] 


(From a drawing by D. G. Rossetti] 


(From a drawing by G, P, Boyce] 


(From a photograph] 


(From a photograph] 


(From a photograph] 


(From a photograph] 


(From a photograph] 


(From a photograph] 


(From a photograph] 


(From a photograph, by Downey, of Newcastle) 







MODELS ! Models ! And more Models ! was the 
constant cry of painters in the early 'fifties, and 
especially of Pre-Raphaelites who did not care, as the 
Royal Academicians did, to "work from feeling." 
If young Deverell had not needed a model for his Viola, 
Elizabeth Eleanor Siddall would not have met Gabriel Rossetti, 
who was to make her and her red hair famous for ever. 

Walter Howell Deverell, who found her for his friend, was a 
son of the Head Master of the Government School of Design 
at Somerset House. 

She was one of the four beautiful daughters of a cutler and 
watchmaker in the Borough. Elizabeth Eleanor, named after 
her mother, a Miss Evans of Hornsey, worked with a milliner 
in Cranbourn Alley. Another daughter, Lydia, a fine girl, 
" helped " her maternal aunt Mrs. Day, who kept a tallow- 
chandler's shop in Pentonville. The youngest, Clara, perhaps 
the best-looking of all, was too young to go out to work. Annie, 
the eldest, was already married to a Scotchman and does not 
come into this story. 

Elizabeth Eleanor got up very early every morning, crossed 
the river and walked to her work at Mrs. Tozer's, in Cran 
bourn Alley. 1 Her hours were long, for she was not supposed 
to leave till eight o'clock, after she and the other young ladies 
had taken the stands out of the window and put the bonnets 
back into cardboard boxes aligned on the high shelves that ran 
all round the walls of the workroom behind the shop, where the 
girls sat and sewed all day. It was small and darkish, even by day 
light, lighted only by one window which looked out on a sodden 
plot of grass where Mrs. Tozer hung her sheets to dry. 

1 A little bit of it is left. 

Mrs. Tozer's bonnet shop had quite a name and Mrs. Tozer's 
girls were of the smartest, and the young men found it worth 
while to line up say twenty minutes before eight and help 
their particular Fair to undress the window. This had been 
the way before the new street had been made and driven right 
through the alley. A stroll through the narrow paved passage 
was a recognised form of amusement for idle young men about 
town or down from the Universities. The agreed chances of 
" so many pretty faces to be seen flitting about among the 
bonnets on a summer's day " made Cranbourn Street you put 
yourself in bad odour with the young ladies if you called it Alley 
a rake's harvest and field of operations. A hundred years 
before Walter Deverell discovered Elizabeth Eleanor, His Grace 
of Kingston was congratulating himself on stealing a pretty 
milliner thence and taking her down to Thoresby. She went 
willingly, it was what she was there for ; the goods sold by these - 
accessible houris represented but the decor of seduction. " A 
Cranbourn Alley article " was synonymous for something cheap 
and vulgar. It thereby follows that when Mrs. Walter Ruding 
Deverell, of Somerset House, wife of the Secretary of the School 
of Design, let young Walter persuade her to go there for a new 
bonnet, she had, surely, some other object in view than the 
furtherance of a son's furtive amour. 

The Schools of Design, dotted all over the country, had been 
founded, in the interests of the recent iron, coal and steam ex 
pansion, to teach artisans to draw and provide fodder for manu 
facturers who did not see why they should continue to stamp 
the patterns designed by foreign artists, on home wares, all 
British. Three or four Royal Academicians from the great, state- 
subsidised art centre, in Trafalgar Square, were kind enough to 
give up their time on certain evenings to assist Messrs. Platt of 
Leeds, Messrs. Pott of Sheffield and their like, to compete with 
each other in the mass production of hideous things and flood 
the country of their birth with indigenous horrors instead of im 
ported ones. Fictile fabrics of all kinds ; " Rafaelle " ware 
ormolu and gilt made to look like ormolu, chased and chaste 
goblets or decanters presenting nude nymphs whose lower 
members turned politely to leaves or shells or both a kind of 
crinoline nature were turned out by the hundred. Soon work- 

men were supposed to take a pride in their hateful work ; they 
grew souls and Mr. Ruskin was called in to lecture to them. 
" You must not follow art without pleasure : you must not follow 
it for pleasure ! " And, to please the omnipotent art critic, 
" adjacent to the red glare of the furnaces/' Mr. Platt, it was 
claimed, permitted " a small section of nature to wear her garment 
of refreshing green " in the shape of a garden. 

But all was not well, money was wasted, good patterns were 
not available and people began to blame what they called " the 
plunging blindness of the Administration." There were " con 
tinual kick-ups " in the committee at Somerset House, com 
mented on with derisive hoots by the friends of the starving 
Madox Brown in his rival school at Camden Town. Questions 
were asked in the House, Royal Commissions appointed ; but 
the thing went on until bustling Mr. Cole, with his horse-sense, 
came in and smashed it all to fragments, to be made up again in 
a different pattern of horror, after the Great Exhibition in 
Hyde Park. 

But, while it lasted, it afforded a pleasant home to the 
Deverells, clever, gay, sprightly and sociably inclined, all of them 
except the father. 

Mr. Ruding Deverell, a native of Bristol, had been Classical 
Master in an American University, and his eldest son, Walter 
Howell, had been born in Charlottesville, Virginia. When 
he was two years old the family returned to England and lived 
in a small house near Buckingham Gate until the Secretaryship 
of the School of Design was offered to Mr. Deverell by Lord 
Granville, connoting a salary of two hundred and fifty a year and 
rooms in Somerset House overlooking the river. 

When the great gates in the Strand were closed the big court 
yard in front was " as quiet as the sands of Arabia," 1 and it was 
supposed to be haunted. Bells rang in the night. Mrs. Deverell, 
in bed, called to her son to fetch her a glass of water from the 
kitchen, but before he returned there was a bang on the bed- 
table and a glassful was handed to her. Young Spenser, a 
budding mathematician, interested in Bessemer's theory of 
wave-propelling, had written a manual on the subject and was 
reading it in bed. After he had folded up the manuscript and 
put out the candle he distinctly heard someone beside him turning 
over the pages. . . . 

A D'Evrolles had come in with the Conqueror and was in the 

1 So says Crabbe. 


Roll of Battle Abbey. Broad lands in Somerset still bear the 
name. Goodall, R.A., who painted Mr. Ruding Deverell, 
always declared that he was one of the handsomest men he ever 
saw. Pale, with light yellow hair combed in an upward roll 
over a high forehead, small eyes, a long straight nose, an expression 
at once wistful, acute and obstinate. He was tyrannical and 
unkind. A "determined Atheist," 1 he would not allow his 
children to go to church with their mother, whom, however, he 
could not prevent attending Divine Worship. 

Mrs. Dorothy Margaretta Deverell, ne Phillips, 2 in her 

fifties, her health already mined by worry, her black hair combed 

smoothly down till it merged in rapids of ringlets under her ears, 

with black eyebrows finely drawn, had imported the Jewish 

strain which showed faintly in her eldest son's beautiful face but 

hardly at all in Wykeham and Spenser or Maria and Margaretta. 

Young Walter had not been intended for the Arts. His rich 

Uncle Travel did not approve of it. He was sent into Scotland 

to a private tutor and placed, when he was sixteen, in a London 

solicitor's office. He would have liked to be an actor ; the whole 

family had a bent that way. In James Street they had rented 

a stable next door and used the stable-boys as scene-shifters and 

the stable lanterns as footlights. But in Somerset House it 

was different. Mr. Deverell did not approve of theatricals and 

once, when they had put on The Taming of the Shrew with 

Walter as Petruchio, Margaretta as Katherine and Miss 

Clementina Black as Bianca, no one saw them play, for Papa, 

getting wind of the performance, had the great doors on to the 

Strand closed so that none of the invited could drive or 

walk in. 

Though Walter wanted to be an actor, he was sent to Carey's, 
whence he passed into the Academy Schools. Then he was 
appointed Assistant Master of the School of Design, armed with 
testimonials from Messrs. Redgrave, Horsley, Dyce and J. R. 

When he was but eighteen he had a picture accepted and hung. 
Reposing after the Ball was quite in the approved style of Academy 
" fill-ups " ^ his next subject had been in the prevailing 
Germanophile fashion which had set in with the betrothal of the 

1 See William Rossetti. 

2 The Phillipses had originally been bankers in Haverford West ; a Phillips of the 
Queens Body Guard had been through the Mutiny and, disobeying orders, once 
saved a position and got thanked for it. 


By kind permission of^ohn Deverell, Esq. 

From an oil painting by W. Holman Hunt 

Queen. And now he was painting a subject from Shakespeare's 
Twelfth Night* portraying himself as the handsome Duke 
Orsino as why should he not ? His friend Gabriel Rossetti, 
devoid of personal vanity 1 , had posed unprotesting, except at 
the exertion, for the Jester and now Walter wanted a model for 

He was one of the handsomest fellows in London, after the 
Director. Mr. Dyce was forty; young Deverell only twenty 
and looking younger, like a page of the Middle Ages, a Cherubino 
without the vice. His beauty was of the type that could only, 
it seemed, be described in contradictory adjectives : " Little 
Deverell, lovely yet manly, with his effeminate, alluring face." 
" Not properly to be termed feminine say troubadourish," 
was his friend William Rossetti's contribution. " Silky without 
being effeminate," said Mr. William Bell Scott, one of his 
father's confreres. They were all agreed on his charm, his 
" manliness mixed with warmth," his exquisite manners, his 
affectionate nature. . . . 

Careless in dress, his collar mostly unbuttoned, often one of 
his Pre-Raphaelite Brothers, meeting him, would be seen 
securing it in the middle of the road while he waltzed round 
and round, like a pony being saddled. Yet women followed 
him in the street, as they pursue their favourite actors nowadays, 
racing round turnings, waiting at corners to catch another 
glimpse of his beautiful face. The wife of Hughes the porter, 
who sold crayons and sheets of drawing-paper to the students, . 
watched for his goings out and his comings in, but he never 
gave her so much as a look out of his dark eyes as she stood, 
wantonly waiting, at the door of the Schools, her hearty pink 
face and yellow hair framed against the dark arch. She seemed 
to have no particular work to do, but was always ready to joke 
with the young " Academinions " (as they were called in the 
Schools), cracking nuts with her strong white teeth as they passed 
in and out. Once she flung a whole handful of shells in Gabriel 
Rossetti's face, who took it in good part since the hussy was 

The women students all went to Gower Street, but Walter 
did not care for girls : they chased him. He had no sweet 
heart. His mother was his best friend and chosen companion, 
unexacting, reasonable and kind, willing to go with him and 

1 It was the very picture Scott bought for love of him after his death (from a 
dealer in Newcastle, where if had drifted) for a song. 


purchase an outre bonnet that she could never wear, to help him 
to get hold of a good model. 

Gabriel Charles Rossetti, whom he had met at Carey's, was 
his greatest friend ; after him, in estimation and intimacy, came 
two other youths, William Holman Hunt and John Everett 

They had all three gone up together to the Academy Schools, 
but Rossetti had left in a pet because, quite soon, Hunt and 
Millais had got into the Life while they kept him at friezes and 
bas-reliefs. Anxious to get on quickly he asked his grandfather 
Polidori, a rich merchant, to pay for lessons from Mr. Brown 
always called Kind Brown or Old Brown, though he was only 
twenty-seven, but already a widower. Young Rossetti admired 
his work tremendously. Flattered by the youth's appreciation, 
Brown took him on rather doubtfully ; " We'll see what we 
can make of him ! " 

Brown's " manner " was characteristic of the school to which 
the lads later gave a name. Although he hadn't enough 
to eat and time was of dreadful importance to him he would 
spend hours over a hand or a forearm and make a dress before he 
painted it, cutting out tabards and fabricating liripipes, spending 
hours sewing with his own hand fleurs-de-lis in calico over a 
surcoat for the Black Prince. He set his pupil down to paint 
some ^ old verdigrised bottles stacked in a corner of the studio. 
Gabriel made them serve as a foreground for a sort of lazy, 
leering Lilith. The lessons were not a success. Gabriel had 
left Brown and Clipstone Street after a couple of lessons and set 
up with Hunt in Cleveland Street. Hunt was only a year older, 
but he had managed to get into the Life before he left the Academy 
and he tried to give Gabriel a hint or two. That did not last 
either. Now Gabriel was working alone in Newman Street, over 
a " hop-shop," which meant the noise of music and dancing 
below, so that he could not get a night's rest and went back 
regularly to share his brother's bed in Charlotte Street. 


Mrs. Deverell knew all about Gabriel Rossetti's people had 
made it her business, since Walter went there so much. They 
were Italian refugees, living somewhere near Portland Place, the 
neighbourhood where that kind of person mostly congregated, 
making a living by teaching, the usual way adopted by people 



From a photograph 

who have escaped from a country by the skin of their teeth, 
leaving their earthly goods behind them. There was much 
sympathy for Italians in England just then. The attempt at 
revolution last year, the prison stories, Father Gavazzi's and 
Mazzini's lectures made the study of Italian fashionable. Mr. 
Uwins, R.A., had had an Italian to teach his sister, and Mr. 
Swinfen Jervis, M.P., the youngest Rossetti girl for his daughter 
Agnes. Cavaliere Gabriele Rossetti himself gave lessons at half 
a guinea an hour. He was by way of being a poet : Mrs. Deverell 
had once heard him improvise at a party at the Turkish 
Ambassador's. His wife was three-parts English her maternal 
grandmother had been a Pierce. In a word, they were good 
citizens and quite respectable. Mrs. Deverell had asked 
Pistrucchi about them. Sir Isaac Goldsmid, who was on the 
Council of the University College where the father lectured, 
had interested himself in one of the boys and talked to Mr. 
Wood of the Excise about him, and she believed he kept the family 
now, for the father seemed to be going blind. They attended 
Trinity Church, Marylebone, sitting under Dr. Penfold, with 
occasional visits to Christ Church, Albany Street. One of the 
curates, Mr. Burrows, was a great friend of the eldest daughter, 
Maria. She was not so pretty as the younger one, Christina, 
but, with a kind of espieglerie about her ugliness, seemed more 
likely to marry, for the Collinses, Charles and his brother Wilkie, 
admired her and so did Mr. Street, an architect. 

These good people had no access to the Classes except through 
teaching, but they were, Walter informed her, of noble blood 
and would have been somebodies in Italy now if all had gone well. 
He cunningly contrived to spread over this family that he so 
affected, the aroma of lost causes. The old gouty teacher of 
languages who took snuff and bit his nails to the quick styled 
himself" Of Vasto, Ammone," a town or district in the Abruzzi. 
He maintained that he was of the family of the Counts of Delia 
Guardia, whilom magnates of the place, 1 but, somehow, a later 
Delia Guardia, a blacksmith, had come to be called Rossetti 
Red Skin. 2 

1 His brother Joseph was a notary of good repute in Nice and did business for 
Lady Mary Coke, of Aubrey House, Campden Hill. His son was married to an 
Englishwoman, a certain Lillas Moses, aunt of the Incumbent of Denton near 
Darlington, the Reverend John Birkbeck. Thus early did the Rossetti blood invade 

2 The same derivation has been given to Ruskin's patronymic. 


Though Mrs. Rossetti rose at seven and kept no servant, 
cleaning down the house, preparing her husband's Italian dishes 
herself, they saw plenty of company. Counts, Princes, Kings 
even, together with Red Revolutionaries, drank tea and ate 
bread-and-butter and teased the squirrel and Maria's cat Zoe. 
Louis Naundorf, who claimed to be Louis the Seventeenth of 
France, would be discussing her escape over the Beresina with 
Mademoiselle de St. Elme, whose lover had been one of 
Napoleon's marshals. There was a descendant of the Queen of 
Cyprus, Caterina Cornaro, the subject of a poem of Browning's 
that Gabriel was illustrating. Present very often was a Baby 
lonian Princess and a man who had married a Queen. 

There were to be found, naturally, more Italians in the Casa 
Rossetti than English, and hardly any French, for Mr. Rossetti 
hated them. Ida de St. Elme was a Russian really. There was 
Doctor Cypriani Potter and Doctor Elliotson, 1 who called him 
self the family doctor but, as he refused to take a fee, was not 
often called in professionally. Of Italians there was Paganini 
and Madame Pasta and young William's two distinguished god 
fathers, Michael Costa and General Carrascosa. There was 
Aspa, too, a piano-tuner from Broadwood's, Sangiovanni a 
brigand, Sarti a plaster-cast vendor, Parodi a dancing master, 
Rolandi a bookseller, Faro a coal-dealer and, among out-and-out 
revolutionaries, Giuseppe Mazzini and Mr. Panizzi holding a 
post in the British Museum. 2 

Used to mixed society of this sort young Gabriel's manners 
were good, almost distinguished. He was polite to everyone and 
very kind to his mother and sisters. So was Millais to his family. 
Mrs. Deverell had not heard of Hunt's mother, but he had a sister 
Emily, who painted too and often procured models for him. They 
were all nice lads enough, but she would have preferred that her 
son should consort with his peers, like Robert Leslie and the young 
Constables, sons Of Academicians. Hunt's father was a ware 
houseman in the City and that of Millais a professional, or semi- 
professional, flute-player. Frederic Stephens was the son of an 
official in the Tower. Collinson, who was engaged to Gabriel's 
pretty sister, was the son of a bookseller in the Midlands, and Tom 
Woolner, of a letter-sorter in a Suffolk post office, while the two 

1 Dr. John Elliotson, Thackeray's friend, professor of the practice of medicine 
to the London ^University in 1831. Hypnotist. The first to use the stethoscope. 

2 A visiting list that was not likely to impress the rather exigeant parents of Miss 

From a photograph 

Tuppers lived with, their father, a printer, in South Lambeth. 
Jacob Bell, who was rich, got his money out of a chemist's shop 
in Marylebone. 

It was not good for her delicate boy to imitate Gabriel, who 
never went to bed till two or three in the morning or got up till 
he had to, so kept him up late. They sat up, night after night, 
in this study or the other, talking, or starting at half-past twelve 
for a moonlight walk. They would go and wake up the Dor 
mouse, as they called Christina's young man, and drag him half- 
dressed, half-asleep and protesting, supporting his arms, as far as 
Putney or Wimbledon. Not to places where they shouldn't 
go Mrs. Deverell would say that for them. They were all 
strictly anti-Bohemian and had forsworn rowdyism. They 
neither smoked, drank nor swore, as a protest against Bohemia, 
saturated with tobacco, spirits and oaths. They were too poor 
to be dissipated as well as too earnest ; not one of them had 
a banking account and Mrs. Deverell or little Mrs. Howitt 
cashed their cheques for them when they were lucky enough to 
earn any. They had one dummy -between the three, carted 
about in cabs, looking most indecent, from studio to studio, so 
that they risked being taken for Wainewrights. They did not 
spend much money on food : Rossetti, a coarse eater, only 
wanted enough. When lobsters were cheap, one for supper was a 
treat. Tea was the great meal, with slices of bread-and-butter, 
beer or perhaps sherry-cobbler at the Collins' in Hanover 
Terrace or at Millais' in Gower Street, in a magnificent apart 
ment 19 ft. by 20 ft. And there was the Howitts', at Highgate, 
but that was a long cross-country journey only helped by the 
omnibus. And Jacob Bell's people gave dances, but sometimes 
the night fixed for them turned out " intensely sloshy " and 
their footwear being rather uncertain they did not attend. Or, 
maybe, the dress-suit was at the pawnbroker's. (As Rossetti said, 
" Avuncularism tied " one, rather.) 

But, as children prefer the dirtiest doll, the mudpie in the road 
to the "rocking-horse in the parlour, the garret at the top of the 
Rossettis' house was found to be the pleasantest, most suitable 
place to meet in. There was no carpet and only three, or perhaps 
four, chairs with bursting seats and one rickety table. Small and 
frowsty, and, if William persuaded the window to open, ten to 
one Gabriel would come in and say, out of Poe : " Oh, lady 
bright, Can it be right ? This window open to the night ? " 
and shut it. Once in, out they never came half a dozen of 


them packed in behind closed doors. Anyone eavesdropping 
would hear, on Saturday nights especially, when the Literary 
Society met, an even murmur of voices, musical, strident, 
passionate or academic, declaiming from behind it. They would 
be reading aloud out of their pet poets, or bits they had got by 
heart. Their memories held in solution all the verse in the 
world. Ballad refrains, tags of plays, stanzas and lines of poetry 
from this or that author mixed with the tenor of their daily lives, 
as little flakes of spume float on the dark surface of a stream or 
fly in the air overhead, like white cotton grass over the moor 
in summer. They would go murmuring did they lose a pencil 
or notebook " Oh, what is gone we fancied ours ? Oh, what is 
lost that never may be told ? " out of Allingham. Or, " What 
is it that they say and do ? " out of the same author when there 
was a noise in the kitchen. 
When Gabriel gave them 

Dark, deep and cold the current flows 
Unto the sea where no wind blows, 
Seeking the land which no one knows, 

by Ebenezer Elliott, a cold air seemed to blow into the room, 
the way he chanted it. Or some of the eerie felicities of his 
most recent find, an Irishman from Ballyshannon, whose poems 
he knew by heart. 

Up the airy mountain, 

Down the rushy glen, 
We daren't go a hunting 

For fear of Little Men. 

They stole Little Bridget 
Long years ago. 

The journeys of the old king of the fairies 

. . . going up with music 

On cold starry nights 
To sup with the Queen 

Of the cold Northern Lights. 

And For Annie and The Haunted, Palace by the American, Poe, 
or translations from Hugo's Les Burgraves : 

Love on, who cares ! 
Who cares, love on ! 

And some new version, for he made many, from Burger's 
Lenore : 


Oh, Mother ! Mother ! What is Heaven ? 

Oh, Mother, what is Hell to me ? 
With him, with him is Blessedness 

And without William, Hell to me ! 

And later, when the maiden gets her impious wish and is riding 
behind the ghostly horseman, home to her marriage bed 

. . . still, cool and clean, 

Six boards and one across them, 

The dead ride quick . . . 
Darling, dost fear the dead ? 

it put the rest of them into a cold sweat. 

It was not all high-falutin'. Rossetti had a grotesque thing, 
Jan Van Hunks, which William would not let him publish. 
Johnnie Tupper, who was going in for the law, wrote poems, which 
William considered " bordered on the ultra-peculiar." But 
his parodies provided them with one of their best catch-words : 

And all who paint as Sloshua did 

Shall have their sloshy fingers frozen. 

" Mr. Sloshy-Slosh " signified an artist who painted like Sir 
Joshua or in the way recommended in his lectures to the 
students. " Gentlemen, if you have genius, industry will 
improve it ; if you have none, industry will supply its place." 
Industry, quotha ! Think of that, from a President of the Arts ! 
Oh, those hide-bound dodderers, self-elected members of the 
great public Art Service of England, swimming complacently, 
like the crusted carp at Versailles, on their calm unrippled ponds, 
pompous and omnipotent in the palace of Trafalgar Square, 
must be pulled down, deposed, deprived of their privileges 
eight pictures on the line for sure in favour of the earnest, 
patient outsiders who had no less difficulty than they in finding 
models to paint from and a great deal more in finding places 
wherein to paint them. 

When they were not holding meetings they were wandering 
about the streets looking for a room advertised To Let, with a 
North Light that would do for a study people had not yet 
taken to Italianising the word. 1 When the boys had found some 
barrack or other, squalid but possessed of an apartment with a 

1 In 1866, there were only four apartments in London built expressly for painting 
in : Hook's, Frith's, Hodgson's and someone else's, 


window at the right angle for the sun, they were jubilant, moving 
each other in, giving a hand with the furniture so as to dispense 
with the services of Crocker's van, and making a day of the 
induction of the lucky lessee. 

It was almost as difficult to find models as studios, female 
models especially, and the wives and sisters of R.A.'s, even, knew 
the agonies of constraint and the growing stiffness that soon turns 
into positive pain. Rossetti and his friends commandeered the 
services of their relations ruthlessly, using them in every capacity 
except those in which Dummy was available, and he generally 
monopolised her. The Carpenter's Shop of Millais is quite a 
family party and The Girlhood includes portraits of nearly all the 
Rossettis, including Christina. William was of general utility, 
posing for spare parts, feet, hands, forearms anything ! He 
had a fine head and sat to Hunt for that of Colonna in Rienzi. 
Gabriel, though restless, had to take his turn : he sat for Rienzi 
himself and to Brown for Chaucer and to Deverell for the Jester 
in Twelfth Night.- Millais took him for the guest, 1 with the 
villainous lip propped against the drinking cup, in The Marriage 
Feast ^ of Lorenzo and Isabella. Brown's wife was his model all 
the time : he had found her at Stratford when she was sixteen. 
Friends too; Hannay, ex-Consul from Barcelona, sat for the 
head of Valentine in The Two Gentlemen, and his brother, the 
police magistrate, for somebody in another picture. Frederic 
Stephens, for Ferdinand in Ariel and the Fairies, stood from ten 
in the morning till six at night and had to be supported down 
from the estrade and stayed with brandy before he could go 
home. Deverell, " beautiful as the morning," sat for the page 
in Chaucer and for Claudio in Hunt's Isabella visiting her Brother 
in Prison, but never to Rossetti, who, working largely from 
imagination, was more independent of models than the others. 
They instituted search-parties for models, turning out in groups 
of twos and threes so as to cover the pavement and not let 
a likely one slip past them. Rescue of the Fallen, so fashion 
able just now^they took in their stride, expostulating, plead 
ing. ^ .^ . Millais, small-eyed, sandy-haired, but with an 
ingratiating lisp ; Deverell, extremely good-looking, were 
generally spokesmen, and led a band each. They lost nobody 
for ^ want of asking, but their funds were scanty and the 
willing beauties were seldom of a type that they admired. 
Gabriel always wanted red hair which you had, of course, to 
1 He really did not like Rossetti ; " Queer fish ! " he would say. 


call auburn when you were wheedling them to sit and you 

had to be very tactful, praising their faces and making it plain 

that that was all you wanted, and only for one or two sittings. 

Sometimes they were haughty, or even fierce : that was better 

than when they were common. Walter did not dare tell his 

mother of an incident that befell him and Gabriel and Collinson. 

Coming out of Marshall's they spied a most lovely girl, beautifully 

dressed and looking so like a Duchess that they almost feared to 

ask her. But she had stopped on the way to her carriage and 

Basked pleasantly what they would give her for sitting. And 

M when Deverell explained that they were poor and that the whole 

jOfigure came expensive, so that they would only ask her to sit for 

jjthe face, her reply left them in doubt as to whether she was 

Really a Duchess, for she said, if she sat at all, she would sit for 

j^quite another portion of her frame if they liked. He had had 

p-such a shock that he had not slept for a week and swore that 

he would never ask a girl to sit again for any part of her. 


And they had what boys generally do have, a secret society 
^or two. There was a Mutual Suicide Association and the 
^| Literary Evenings. And a very much more important one they 
had started earlier in the year. It included Gabriel Charles 
/^Rossetti, William Holman Hunt and John Everett Millais (the 
{^founders), plus Thomas Woolner, Frederic Stephens (a nominee 
of Hunt's), James Collinson (Gabriel's fellow-student in the 
R.A. Schools) and William Michael Rossetti. Brown had been 
invited but he had declined. Too old ! They had let in 
Collinson 1 because he was engaged to Gabriel's sister Christina, 
jjand William Rossetti, who wasn't an artist, because he was 
^methodical, and could act as secretary. It was to be nothing 
less than a revolution in art. 

Something really had to be done about the derelict state of 
painting in this country, betrayed by George III, who had 
surrendered the common heritage of all into the hands of a few 
interested old dodderers and given them a palace to house their 
daubs in. Untrammelled and uncriticised, they used their self- 
appointed privilege to hound a few great artists to madness and 
death and, if they survived this treatment, to keep their work off 

1 " Oh, Collinson was nothing ! He had about as much in him as that old hen ! " 
So Hunt in 1903, to my mother, pointing to such an object in the garden. 


the walls, 1 or if they hung them, prevent them from being seen, 
keeping all the good places for themselves. 

To strengthen their case against the Academy the boys would 
adduce the sneers of the old mad poet William Blake ; Hazlitt's 
bitter epigrams, " The marring of artistic effect is the making 
of the Academy," and criticisms, of the great past-President's 
" hasty, washy, indeterminate manner of painting, neglectful 
alike of severe form and accurate detail " (this was a quotation 
from one of the unpublished and uncompleted manifestos of the 
society) " and lavish of unctuous vehicles. . . ." This was why 
they called him " Sloshua," and all R.A.'s and their wives by the 
generic names of" Mr. and Mrs. Sloshy-Slosh." All painters on 
the wrong tack " excessive in all that is low and to the public 
taste." The things of Mr. Armitage, the religious fellow, were 
exactly like the picture bricks that their little sisters played with, 
just portraits of Mrs. Sloshy-Slosh, whom Mr. Armitage had 
taken, Gabriel said, out of a harem and who always dressed like 
it, in Eastern veils and yashmaks. And what of Mr. Constable, 
who prepared his landscapes every year, regularly going down to 
Bergholt and slashing a bough of a tree, in a foreground of a view 
he meant to paint next year, to ensure its being a nice brown when 
he wanted it ? And Mr. Etty, the " voluptuous painter " who 
was called the English Titian ! Walter's mother protested. Who 
could help liking Mr. Maclise, such a hard worker, and Mr. 
Dyce, so clever and handsome, and Mr. Horsley, whom you 
never would have taken for an artist unless you were told, for he 
looked more like a lawyer ? Mrs. Deverell never could resist 
the President's Irish voice and Mr. Ward's imitations. She 
liked Mr. Stanfield, so burly and sincere, and the two Chalons, 
so gentle and inoffensive, who loved each other so dearly that 
they never even cared to marry, and dear old Sir William Boxall, 
and Mr. Uwins, with his blue eyes and feathered eyebrows, so 
tactful, and who never made mischief, which was awfully con 
venient in a collection of men associated together in the choice 
and collection of the Nation's Art. Talking as if it were a club ! 

1 The P.R.B. should be living at this hour ! What would Hunt, Rossetti and 
Millais say, nowadays, when a self-appointed Hanging Committee judges pictures, 
that have probably taken a man at least a year to paint, at the rate of two 
hundred an hour, " in a sun-flooded room," spending actually three seconds or so 
on " each gilt frame," more important, the phraseology of the Daily Telegraph 
would seem to imply, than the picture and certainly simpler of adjudication ? 
But, in this Year of Grace 1932, no artistic effort has been " given more than three 
or four seconds." See Daily Telegraph, April 2nd. 

I 4 

They had no business to be there at all, looking like lawyers and 
painting like Poor Poll, and keeping better men out. It was no 
use, Gaza must fall and a David seemed to have been found in 
Ruskin, but, meantime, men must live . . . and to live by art 
and prosper was well-nigh impossible unless you were a member of 
the abominable junta. The only thing to do was to start a thing 
of one's own. 


One evening in Gower Street, in August, Gabriel had got 
hold of a volume of engravings belonging to Mr. Millais who 
bought books : Pitture a Fresco del Camposanto di Pisa designata 
da Guiseppe Rossi de incise del Professori Cav; G. Lasinio Figlio. 
Firenze MDCCCXXXII, rather good reproductions of some 
wonderful frescoes that were rotting off the walls of the Campo 
Santo. There were only one or two that were any good ; the 
rest were just horrible, devils and tortured souls sinners with 
their ^ entrails outside, neatly twisted into collars and girdles, 
scorpions flying through the air, holding in their claws babies 
that had died unbaptised, the devil sitting below in the caves 
of Hell, damn well pleased. One plate, at least, was worth 
looking at The Triumph of Death. Knights and ladies on horse 
back, falcon on wrist, chattering, linking along, leaning over 
each other's saddle-bows, out on a jolly hawking expedition 
as people did when times were fairly quiet and it was safe to go 
unarmed any distance outside the town. And suddenly holding 
their noses, while the horses paw and prod the ground and refuse 
to go on, for right in front of them, under their feet almost, 
there are three open stone coffins reposing among the flowers, 
holding the bodies of Kings that have died long ago, all in an 
advanced state of decomposition. 

One peg is as good as another on which to hang up the coat, 
the oriflamme of revolution. They had to find a phrase to place 
the Movement, give it a name and attract the attention of the 
public and puzzle the Philistines. They would go back to the 
fourteenth century, the age of innocence in Art, now grown so 
sophisticated and overlaid with all sorts of bunkum. It was a 
good thing for a new Society to be advertised as reverting to an 
earlier state of things, to a time when people were pious and 
reverent, modestly painting what they saw and all they saw, as 
well as they could. Not presuming to select, giving all the 


tourelles of a castle, the machicolations in the walls and the 
number of steps up to the bastions and, outside, rendering 
faithfully the hind in the brake and the steer in the meadow and 
the eyes of the daisies in the grass and the embroidery in the 
trains of the maids that brushed them, as they walked abroad 
in the Spring. 

" I vote we call ourselves the Pre-Raphaelite Brethren/' said 
Rossetti. Painting as artists did before old Raphael, who was a 
very bad painter really ; all his ideas swamped in manipulation 
till he came to be a sort of Dumas fashionable and got so 
many orders that he had to have assistants, so that all sorts of 
stupid conventions grew up. . . . 

Mrs. Deverell had heard about this Pre-Raphaelite business 
from other quarters. Her eldest son Wykeham had been to 
tea with the mother of Freddy Stephens in The Tower, and had 
never been so surprised in his life as when he was given his tea 
in a cup without a handle. And Mr. Scott told her husband 
that, when young William was staying with him in St. Thomas' 
Street, Mrs. Scott had commented on the absence of the word 
Esquire on the letters he got there, replaced by the initials 
P.&.5., and asked him what that signified ? Oh shyly the 
name of a club that his brother and some friends had planned 
out . . . they wanted to start a new line . . . Art was getting 
so stale in England ! 

Just a bit of bravado a boy's cap flung over a church steeple 
and Mr. Scott wasn't so sure that it wouldn't stay on, either ! 

There was certainly something in that elder brother of Bill's, 
who had written to tell him how much he admired Ro sab ell. Mr. 
Scott had been so struck with the three poems of his which 
accompanied the letter that, when he was in town last Christmas, 
he had made a point of getting hold of the address of the 
house where the poet lived with a man called Hunt, to see what 
he was doing. The other man was a painter too. The drawing 
master, tapping with a big stick he always carried, up the stairs 
of a house in Cleveland Street, had come to a room on the second 
floor, bare, with maroon walls and one window not even a 
north light. Two young men were sitting as far as they possibly 
could get from each other in the small room, painting away in 
this newly invented style of theirs absurdly photographic 


From a photograph 

neglecting no detail. There was a fly crawling on a leaf near 
the body of Rienzi in Hunt's picture and Rossetti was putting 
in the common watering-pot used by St. Joachim and the pattern 
of the Virgin's piece of embroidery. Mr. Scott recognised the 
portrait of a shy girl he had just seen in Charlotte Street. 
Obviously, Hunt could paint and Rossetti could not. Yet he was 
more struck with his picture than with that of the other. Good, 
solid, journeyman's work, Hunt's : Rossetti's a mixture of hope 
less dilettantism and positive genius. 

Later Scott saw the work of the other members of the band. 
The teacher in him saw at once that young Millais had nothing 
to learn in the way of technique ; it was obvious that his essay 
in Pre-Raphaelitism was just a lark to show he could do anything 
he liked. Hunt knew his job and would get there ; Millais was 
already there. Rossetti, perhaps, would never get there, though 
the best of the three. And Millais would leave the two tyros as 
soon as he tired of playing tricks with painting ! For a little 
handful of unaccredited youths would never be able to stand 
against the Royal Academy. The Academicians were perfectly 
aware of that and were watching the antics of Millais, their 
crack student, with amusement betting on his integrity, so to 
speak ! He was far too sensible to back any but a winning horse. 
Of the Brethren, the two business men, Millais and Rossetti, 
well knew the power of the dealer and the critic ; either of these, 
properly handled, can make an artist's fortune. 

William could string sentences together and Gabriel managed 
to get him on the staff of the Spectator, pledged not to fling too 
much abuse at the Academy (for no journal could afford to be at 
loggerheads with the great painted money-box into which the 
Nation put so many shillings every year). Also young Walter 
Deverell, of " great but impatient ability," was a member of the 
enemy's camp and must be got into the confraternity somehow. 
Gabriel believed in his genius, but Hunt, who never stuck at the 
naive explicit, said he was no good. 

They were to proclaim their principles in every way they 
could, force their women to dress like the ladies in the pictures 
of the Primitives, design and have made, proper furniture run a 
shop, maybe and all pledge themselves to patronise no other. 
They would take a house and live all together, with the letters 
P.R.B. on the bell, on the coffee-pot and on every surface where 
there was room. Rossetti, when he had toothache, used up all 
the notepaper in the house designing the P.R.B. monogram. 
c 17 

For the rest of his working day or, at any rate, until the death 
of Lizzy, this artist chose to see Life through a stained-glass 
window, without repousse, without relief, as it were with the thin 
hem of iron enclosing the colour, bordering the outlines of the 
figures. He had certainly acquired a strong bias for the mediaeval 
convention in the course of his early reading of German, Italian 
and French romances, and the niggling, painstaking habit he 
got obviously from Madox Brown, his first master. Brown was 
the true Founder 1 of the Pre-Raphaelite Cult, or Band. Brown's 
worst enemy, Ruskin, who hated medievalism, knew it and 
always hated both Brown and the younger man, Morris, who 
encouraged his " pet " protg in that heresy. 

1 In 1906 they were still fighting about who had been the. Founder of the little 
dead society, and Holman Hunt and Stephens quarrelled d la mort about it. 



IF it had not been for an Irish poet called William 
Allingham the chances were that Rossetti would never 
have met his Stunner and best model, 
Allingham was an Officer of Customs in Donegal; 
his job, signing ships' papers, paying off seamen, visiting lonely 
stations on the coast and noting wrecks off the wild headlands. 
In the exercise of his duties he would be tramping over miles 
of tricksy rabbit warren and fields patterned with monoliths, 
gnome-like surface rocks, and stones that " walked " at night 
and, in his ears, " The Sound " the noise, day and night, of the 
great waterfall at Ballyshannon " lime itself made audible " 
So he gave Rossetti one of his best lines. 

For Literature possessed him too. He would pace, after 
work, along the village street, concentrated, though seeming not 
to attend, on the shy girls at cottage doors, singing ballads which 
he would take down, add to and finish or, if they were improper, 
refine. He would save up his pocket-money so as to be able to 
go over to England for a month or two of frenzied life, armed 
with introductions from publishers to Leigh Hunt, and Tenny 
son, and Thackeray, and to a certain clerk in the British Museum 
who yielded him the introduction of his life. C. K. Dighton 
Patmore, who liked his verses but did not like him, handed 
him over to Rossetti, who liked him tremendously and es 
pecially as a poet. So did Gabriel's Lizzy. She always sent 
him her love and Gabriel always forgot to give it in his letters. 
Not that Gabriel was jealous, though Allingham was well- 
built, had a thoughtful brow, crisp curly hair and the dark 
blue-grey eyes that go to make up what is known as the Celtic 
glamour, and a lovely voice with a ' soup f on of brogue. He was 
the best of listeners and became at once a favourite member of 
the circle, concerned equally with them in the great Publisher, 
Editor and Art-Critic Chase, those shy, cantankerous birds to 

be caught and caged by aspirants for literary and artistic 

He had been appointed Sub-controller, with a salary of a 
hundred and twenty pounds a year, in his own native town. 
He was to have a holiday first. The cholera in London had 
frightened him : he came over later in the year, put up at The 
Norfolk and went out to present his letters of introduction, 
keeping the Rossettis for the last. 

First to Patmore, in his neat little house by the railway 
bridge in Camden Town. Patmore took him for a walk to 
Highgate Cemetery and showed him the Catacombs, exciting 
everybody just now. The deep, circular basin, dark at noon 
day, with the private mausoleums ranged round, each with its 
tall door, strong as if to ward off an untimely rising of the dead 
and contesting of wills, made the poet think of " the grand 
family funerals," in a book he had just bought off a stall by 
Edgar Allan Poe, and that 

. . . sepulchre, remote, alone 
Against whose portals she had thrown 
In childhood, many an idle stone. . . . 

Some tomb, from out whose sounding door 
She ne'er shall force an echo more. 

There was a picture the little child playing at the side of 
its destined grave, all unwitting ! Allingham fancied he could 
hear, as he stood in the circular alley below the level of the 
terrace, queer noises : " The echo, 33 Patmore said. Ah no, 
" it was the dead that groaned within" He would not have 
missed this new sight of London for anything, but he was glad 
to come out of the circle to the world above of the dead too, 
but properly buried under kind annealing earth. There were, 

Patmore said, any amount of Rossetti 3 s relations lying there 

mostly on the mothers side Polidoris. And if there was time 
he wanted to take Allingham to a place close to the western 
wall of the cemetery which people did not fancy for their 
Beloveds, cheaper, neglected, overgrown and damp at all times. 
It was supposed to be haunted some idea of its being reserved 
for suicides. There was an aspen, thin, forlorn. . . . But the 
hour was not bom when one of these men would attend, hat in 
hand, at a distance, to see a Rossetti laid lonely to her fiercely 
snatched-at rest. They just stuck to the broad gravel walk 
bordered by " gay tombs, 33 all scraped and whitened, shaded by 


3y feiitd permission of Gerald Alti7igha.jtt t 

From a photograph 

shrubs, pruned so that they need not hide the " In Memorys : 
and " Requiescats " of decent, cared-for obsequies. 

Later Mr. Allingham found Mr. Carlyle at home, eager to 
talk of the Brotherhood, which he had heard about from 
Mazzini. Carlyle " liked their sincerity/' l A great concession 
from him ! 

And then to Newman Street, the plum of the day. There 
they all were, except Millais and young Deyerell, in Rossetti's 
new study over the " Hop-Shop." 2 

On the easel a picture, cold and pure: white walls, white 
sheets, white maiden in a hard, stone-like bed without any 
bedclothes Mary Virgin would have left them off "because. 
Bethlehem was such a hot place " shyly squeezing herself 
against the wall, glaring up at the Angel. The treatment was 
so refined that Christina had been willing to sit for the female 

Old Gabriel looked just the same, like a changeling, born 
old, and those wonderful eyes, and between them " the bar of 
Michel Angelo," the ridge or wrinkle that is one of the signs of 
genius. The one pockmark on his cheek was more obvious 
he had had smallpox in youth. His voice was softer than ever, 
with more authority to it. ... William was there, with his red 
lips and the big anchor-seal dangling from his fob that he had 
not lost (he never lost anything), as nearly as possible bald and 
going in for a wig. Then, as always, mild and ancillary, though 
he talked much louder than Gabriel. 

There was the dear old Maniac with his golden beard grown 
and his violet eyes deeper and his button-nose that was too 
small even to be retrousse, his air of a child born into a world he 
didn't understand, with stories to tell that he could never 
conveniently bring to an end. He was talking now of the 
P.R.B. and how bis " initiatory programme " had called forth 
Gabriel's " amplification of the idea " ; and Gabriel, so sure of 
his own dominance, was listening without contradicting him. 

1 He had been told that they copied the thing as it was or invented it as they 
supposed it might have been " Some sense in that ! " 

2 The landlord had asked them thirty pun' a year for it, but clever Gabriel 
had managed to beat him down to twenty-eight, because of the noise of the 
dancing below. 


" Holy Hunt," a really good if rather dull man, Allingham 
thought, prodigiously honest and straightforward. He had not 
joined Rossetti in this studio but, perhaps a little resenting the 
latter's kingship, had stayed in Bayswater with Collinson, who 
refused to use the Initials or entertain in his turn. He never 
saw the fun of anything and was doubly disconsolate just now 
because he had .got religion and Miss Rossetti had jilted him. 
Woolner was there, ginger-haired and short-nosed, not keeping 
his humble family dark, for he was not ashamed of it. 

Stephens, Millais and Deverell were out hunting for models 
in Tottenham Court Road, so there was plenty of room. 
Gabriel had some new " bits " to show but they were not seats. 
Allingham was given the only good one in the place. The host 
lounged in a torn and frayed basket-chair into which, with his 
wide hips, he fitted so exactly that it seemed to have become 
part of him. The others squatted about wherever they could 
find an unencumbered though dusty spot and began to read 
aloud to each other. Gabriel politely began with Mr. Ailing- 
ham's latest, The Maids of Elfin Mere (which Gabriel was going 
to illustrate), about the three weird maidens, Nixes or Loreleis, 
" like three white lilies, calm and clear," who came up out of 
the mere into the pastor's cottage and began to sing " to a 
pulsing cadence " till it struck eleven and they departed as they 
came. The pastor's son, to keep them, one night put the clock 
back; they missed their hour and, without saying one word, 
left the room " like three doves on snowy plume." And next 
day the people heard cryings on the shore and saw on the water 
three bloodstains spread out and fade and dwindle. . . . 

And The Dream : 

I heard the dogs howl in the moonlight night 
And I went to the window to see the sight. 

All the dead that I ever knew 

Going by one and two by two, 
Born in the moonlight of the lane 

And quenched in the heavy shadow again. 

And one moving ridge they made 
Across the moonstream from shade to shade. 

And then he read the poem Rosabell, which had made him 
and Mr. Scott acquainted, and then Sir Henry Taylor's Eesterna 
Rosa, of which he was doing a water-colour : 


Quoth tongue of neither maid nor wife 

To heart of neither wife nor maid, 
" Lead we not here a jolly life 

Between the sun and the shade ? " . . . 

" Thou wag'st, but I am sore with strife 
And feel like flowers that fade." 

After that they began on bouts rimes. Rossetti gave the 
rhymes : scorn, forlorn, corn, morn ; alone, own and sown. His, 
of course, was the best : 

She bowed her head among them all, as one 
By one they rose and went. A little scorn 

She showed, a very little, more forlorn 
She seemed because of that. . . . 

. . . the free-hearted corn 
Kissed by the hot air freely all the morn 

Is better than the weed which has its own 
Foul glut in secret. . . . 

Just chance rhymes, but see how the innocent youths turned 
them at once into line with their crusade against London's 
nightly pandemonium of harlotry ! And, while the verses were 
being read out, handsome Deverell and handsome Millais came 
in disappointed ; they had had no luck that night, had saved 
none nor picked up a single model. . . . 

The moan of Scott's Rosabell, the way Gabriel gave it, 
remained with Allingham : 

I am forsaken, not a wheel 

Rings on the street's hard stones ! 

Down the wet pavement gleam the lamps . , . 

And every lamp on every street 

Lights their wet feet down to death, 

as he crept down the wooden staircase and turned out into the 
streets; he knew that the two handsomest young fellows in 
London and, he'd wager, the most innocent, had been patrolling 
all the evening, accosting and probably being accosted. For 
respectable women did not go out at night unattended or, if 
obliged, took care not to be spoken to. He was not afraid of 
Millais, mad on his profession, with the great safe alternative, 
love of sport. Or even for little Deverell, who was proof against 
" light loves in the portal " and the coarse solicitations of the 
porter's wife, and managed to evade the subtler wiles of women 


of his own class. Or for Hunt, who had revealed religion like 
a violet ray behind the whole of his lovely life. 
But for Gabriel 


On his way to Surrey Street Allingham crossed the Hay- 
market, where the " Jennys " were supposed to parade " on 
market nights in the rain and wet." The hay had been cleared 
away many years before ; but the young poet saw plenty of 
" improper persons brilliantly walking, under a mild, muffled 
moon " and, before he got back to his hotel, had composed the 
poem to the tags given by William (glare> despair, while and 
smile] which he had failed to accomplish a while ago in Rossetti's 
rooms. . . . Not bad ! 

Along the street in the midnight glare 

The sinners crowd in gay despair, 
Soft women who retain awhile 

Their heavenly form and tender smile, 
When all within has sunk to wreck, 

Awhile, awhile, a little while / 

The night after, he went to the ballet and, falling in love 
with a coryphee, followed her home from the stage door as 
far as her garden gate, but no further. That night he could 
not sleep. Bad thoughts ! He suppressed them and his fancy 
for Miss Fowlinski, after a bouquet or two which Gabriel, 
romantic, delivered for him in St. John's Wood but he went 
on falling in love during the brief space of his stay in London. 
There was a girl in Cranbourn Alley, nay, there were two 
Jeannet he never knew her surname and a handsome, haughty 
creature called Ellen Britten. He had come across them one 
day when he went to the Panorama, because it was of Killarney, 
and then for a look round the shops something for the girls 
at home. . . . Jeannet and Ellen were in the biggest and most 
important shop all sold pretty much the same class of thing. 
After that he took to hanging about in the passage to watch 
the graceful shapes flitting about under the sullen glare of the 
gas, turned low for you don't need to see much just to put 
the things away. He made their acquaintance and was told 
that he might come along of an evening and help ; Mrs. Tozer's 
young ladies might make what hay they liked so long as it was 
not made among the millinery. The bandboxes into which 


the bonnets were put to rest for twelve hours must be properly 
filled with softest tissue-paper and laid on high shelves until 
morning. The gentle susurration of whispers, the soft crushing 
of the thin crumpled sheets that made beds for the bonnets 
was an agreeable and novel sensation for one fresh from the 
wilds of Donegal, where nobody puts hats away because nobody 
covers their head at all. Jeannet said he might call on a Sunday 
at her home in Waterloo Road, where she lived with Miss 
Britten. They went part of the way home with a Miss Siddall 
who also lived over the water. She was timid and afraid of 
being spoken to. 

Allingham did not admire Miss Siddall except for her com 
plexion. Gentle, with the manners of a lady, she did not say 
much probably had very little to say, always seemed in a 
dream. He preferred the lively French style of Jeannet and, 
one Sunday, he took a penny ride over the river, rang the little 
tinkly bell of her house and waited. Jeannet came to the door, 
showed her eyes and the tip of her nose and explained that 
she could not let him in " for ladies were sitting without their 
dresses for the heat " and, besides, Miss Britten was out. After 
that she was always out and he abandoned her for another charmer 
at Mrs. Jarvis' in Ryder Court, same street. In the end he 
dropped both, but he. just remembered " Miss Sid," as the girls 
called her, because of her rather stuck-up manner. And Deverell, 
next night, bemoaning his failure to find a model for his Viola, 
someone pretty who was thin enough to look nice in boy's 
clothes, heard from Allingham that there was a Stunner who 
would just do for him if he could get her to sit. 


Next day, after tea, they started for the Alley, the slow- 
moving, stolidly dreaming, poet and the eager stripling intent 
on the picture that was to admit him to the Brotherhood. 
Past the church with its wide churchyard, through Dirty Lane 
and Green Street into Leicester Square and the domed build 
ing in bastard Byzantine, where they had lectures every hour, 
past the house that Hogarth had lived in, half of which 
Monsieur Jacquiere was running as an up-to-date hotel and 
restaurant, past an anatomical machinist's, an iron-founder's, 
a builder's, a surgeon's, a seal engraver's and a Lending Library 
and new offices, till they came to the Hotel de Provence, that the 


wonderful French cooking at the Sabloniere was ousting in 
public favour. . . . Allingham remembered it all by the light 
of what happened afterwards. 

In Cranbourn Alley, though it was dark, the blinds were not 
down, for it was a pretty sight and enticing for the passers-by 
to see the little milliners going about inside with one eye on 
Mrs. Tozer and the other cocked over their shoulders on the 
delights of outside and the eager faces against the pane. Then 
Allingham pointed out the Stunner they had come to see, 
standing under a naked, noisome gas-jet, reaching up to a high 
shelf against the wall. The light seemed to be shining through 
each particular hair 1 on her head, so soft and loose it was in 
arrangement as it were the wings of an oriole, framing a face 
that, when she turned it towards the window, was the very face 
for Viola or any beauty of old story. . . . 

Allingham offered to take Deverell in and introduce him to 
the damsel it was what he had come for but Walter shied. 
She looked such a lady . . . and he had vowed that never 
again would he ask any woman to sit after the catastrophe out 
side Marshall's. He would not care to have Mrs. Tozer and 
her young ladies think he had come to take her out for a walk, 
like all the other young men. The end of it was, he said he 
might perhaps get his mother to come and choose a bonnet 
ten bonnets here to-morrow and get into conversation with 
her. . . . 

Allingham did not think that the young lady, though more 
modest-looking than most, would need much persuasion. And 
that opulent chevelure would be a difficulty for Viola : she 
would have to stow it away somewhere, somehow, under a 
tarbosch, which she might object to doing. . . . 

Hair and all she would just have suited Rossetti; but for 
some reason or other William Allingham did not want her to 
be put into stock, not just at present. 

In the square they arranged a programme. Walter would 
bring his mother next day to buy a bonnet and persuade the 
girl to sit, and he must promise to keep her to himself at any 
rate for the run of Viola. 

1 Golden hair has always been potent in its appeal to all. Ladies, " belle et 
blonde et colorUes? have always used it as an amatory weapon. Sarah Marlborough, 
to anger her husband, cut off hers he so admired, laid it along a chair in an ante 
room where he must see it and waited, trembling. There was no reconciliation : 
the great general came, said nothing and was gone. But after his death she found 
the lock of hair wrapped up among his best possessions. 


By kind permission of Francis Madan, Esq. 

From a drawing by D. G. Rossetti 

" Yet, Tragedy would creep in." Allingham, the seer, 1 said 
afterwards that, as he and Deverell walked away southwards 
again, passing between the Places of the Beginning and the 
End Mrs. Tozer's shop and the Sabloniere Hotel he was 
possessed for one moment of the knowledge of all that his 
stricken friend, lying on the burnt, brown grass in Lincoln's 
Inn Fields, told him one day thirteen years later. He went 
home to his hotel and wrote The Cold Wedding. 

White favours rest 

On every breast ! 
And yet, methinks, we seem not gay. 

The church is cold. 

The priest is old 
And who will give the Bride away ? 

The Bride in white 
Is clad aright 
Within her carriage closely hid. 

(The wedding bells, how slow they swing !) 

A match most fair 
This silent pair 
Now to each other given for ever. 

Now, delver, stand 

With spade in hand, 

All mutely to discharge thy trust ; 

Ere she was born 
That vow was sworn ; 
And we must lose into the ground 
Her face we knew : 

For the bridegroom, in Allingham's poem, was Death. 

1 Allingham, on his death-bed, Nov. 18, 1889, "I am seeing things that you 
know nothing of." 


A FEW days later the beautiful red-haired girl passed 
under the archway in the Strand, where another fair 
woman, whose hair was auburn and who knew how 
do these sort of people get to know ? that this was 
Mr. Walter's new model, stood arms akimbo, looked her up 
and down and jeered at the goldilocks that one of the students 
the one she disliked was going to make the fashion. 

Mrs. Tozer had been easily squared, but Walter's mother 
had had to go all the way down to Kent Road to ask Mrs. 
SiddalPs permission for her daughter to sit. She had done this 
partly to please Walter and partly out of curiosity to see where 
" Miss Sid " got her style from, for one had always heard that 
the lowest of the low and the vilest of the vile congregated in 
that part of the world on the other side of the river ! Feeling 
that she could negotiate this sort of thing better alone, she 
went in her hired brougham across the bridge, past the Elephant, 
bidding her man drive quickly as far as the triple corner of 
Kent Street, New Kent Road and Bermondsey Road and then 
go slowly on watching the numbers. She had never been on 
this side of the river in her life though she had heard Kennington 
and Newington spoken of as " pretty places," and, indeed, 
after they had passed the Bricklayer's Arms the road widened 
and became half rural, with residential houses interspersed with 
shops on either side and behind them, on the east, nothing 
much but tanneries and rope- walks and market gardens stretching, 
she supposed, all the way to the river. 

Number Eight Kent Place was by the side of Searle's, 1 and 
opposite a fine building which her coachman informed her was 
the Asylum for Deaf and Blind Children. The door they 
wanted was in Jane Place, and there was a little pocket-hand 
kerchief of a garden in front. 

1 A furniture dealer, 


The mother, presumably, who opened the door with the air 
of a duchess, while effacing herself against the wall like a servant 
to let her visitor pass in, was handsome, with the same coloured 
hair as her daughter but of a more refined shade pale, pale 

fold. Her manner was perfect, a trifle too haughty, perhaps, 
ut refined, giving you nothing to take hold of. She led the 
way to the parlour and did not wipe a chair for her visitor ; 
there was no need ; everything was spotlessly clean though the 
room was small and dark. The fiddle in the corner which 
caught Mrs. Deverell's eye and seemed a good thing to begin 
on, belonged, Mrs. Siddall said, to her husband, who was in 
his shop a little further up the road, where he exercised the 
profession of an optician and cutler. A handsome, weak- 
looking boy slipped out of the room as she came in and was 
told severely to go and see if his father didn't need him. A 
handsome bold-eyed girl, almost a child, was introduced as 
"my daughter Clara or Kate" some name like that, 
Mrs. Deverell didn't remember, for with her raven locks she 
would be no use to Walter, mad, like Rossetti, just now on 
red hair. 

She quite believed what her son had told her and what Mrs. 
Tozer had implied, that Miss Siddall was of good class though 
her people had come down in the world through no fault of 
their own. The little sitting-room had an air of proud, not 
wanton, destitution, the furniture, quite good, some of it 
had the sharp clear angles that constant polishing will give, and 
off the round table in the middle, with a red morocco leather 
book stamped with some sort of crest, 1 lying on it, she would 
have eaten her dinner without a qualm. She tried to make out 
this crest and the names on the framed samplers hanging on 
each side of the old, dark, oil-painting, of a gentleman. The 
fiddle in the corner yes, Mr. Siddall was fond of music. It 
was his hobby now and had been his work. They had not 
always lived in this part oh no ! There was a place called 
Hope, not far from Sheffield, where the family had owned 
property since the seventeenth century. They said, locally, 
that until the old family came back to Hope Hall, ill-luck would 
pursue anyone else that lived there. And so it had. But her 
husband had come to London on purpose to see to his rights 
and had afforded ever so many lawyers' fees so that he might 
in the end come to his own. 
1 Was it Per Bend Vert and Gules, an Eagle displayed ? See Lysons' Britannica. 


It sounded as if the father was ruining himself and his family 
with litigation. Mrs. Deverell, in no hurry and anxious to 
help Walter as much as she could, drew her story out of this 
proud, retiring woman by degrees. How she was Welsh, a 
Miss Evans, how Charles had met her soon after he came to 
London and married her in Hornsey where she had been 
staying five weeks from the date of their meeting, and taken 
her to live in the house higher up the road where the business 
was now carried on. Her husband was an optician, his father 
had been a cutler, his grandfather a scissors-maker. Nice 
distinctions to which Mrs. Deverell listened patiently with her 
object in view. 

Number Five had a nice garden up to the tan-yard and a 
view of the masts at Wapping. All her children she had had 
seven except Annie, the eldest, had been born there. Her 
husband was sorry to leave Sheffield and Queen Street Inde 
pendent Chapel where he was Choir Master, but when he came 
to live in the Euston Road he played the organ in the Chapel 
there, and they had been very glad of him. He was fond of 
poetry and read aloud in the evenings while they sewed and the 
mother played the violin. " Our Liz " was a great reader too. 
She had begun to write poetry when she was eleven and was 
always scribbling when she came home from the shop, sitting up 
in her bedroom in the cold. Mrs. Deverell asked, didn't she 
have a fire ? Her mother said Yes she could have had one but 
they didn't want to encourage her tc sit up there alone. 

Mrs. Siddall was hard hard as nails and sharp as the cutlery 
she lived by ; but she allowed herself to be wheedled by Mrs. 
Deverell's motherly address and position as wife of a Govern 
ment Official and made no difficulty about letting her daughter 
sit, so long as Mrs. Tozer, who had been very good to " Liz," 
was willing to spare her. A relation of hers, Mrs. Hill of St. 
Paul's Terrace, Pancras she had not seen much of her since 
she left off living in the Euston Road had a daughter, Emma, 
who was sitting to a painter perhaps Mrs. Deverell knew 
him for everything he did, and this Mr. Brown was educating 
her to make her his equal, and then he would marry her. Mrs. 
Deverell thought she had heard her son mention the name. 
Emma Matilda had the same coloured hair as Liz only rather 
darker, corn-coloured. ... Liz would sit to Mrs, Deverell's 
son with pleasure. 

There was, at present, no talk of payment. Mrs. Deverell 


did not touch on it. Walter must settle that. A little present, 
perhaps, when the picture was finished ? 

The compact with Allingham was faithfully observed 
Gabriel Rossetti never saw Elizabeth Siddall until Walter 
Deverell and he set up together in Red Lion Square. None of 
the Brethren did, except Woolner and Stephens, who came to 
Somerset House to interview Hughes the porter about some 
copies of The Germ that he had undertaken to get off, together 
with the paper and pencils he supplied to the students. Stephens 
did not think Walter's model worth mentioning, nor Woolner 
the sculptor, to whom her colouring did not appeal. She 
disliked both of them and came to hate Woolner. 

The Deverells moved to Kew, Heathfield House, 1 with a 
ceiling by Verrio, or Vanloo or somebody. Walter kept his 
under-mastership at the Schools and went backwards and 
forwards into town every day. Without his father's knowledge 
he had rigged up a makeshift studio in a disused coach-house 
at the bottom of the garden, with a gate giving on to the Mort- 
lake Road. There was no provision for heating and the silly 
little stove he put in was always going out. When it rained the 
water came in through the roof and had to be caught in pails ; 
but his new model never complained when a great drip came 
on her head, and sat for hours without asking for a rest. As 
painters will, he forgot to remind her. He did not notice that 
now and then she took drops for a little cough she had. Because 
of the family tyrant, she came and went by the back gate 
in Mortlake Road, without meeting or disturbing anyone. 
When they knew she was there, one of the Deverell girls, 
" Gret " or Maria, would make a merit of " sending the model 
her tea on a tray," which generally arrived cold. But their 
mother, not very well herself, would now and again put on 
her goloshes and go down the path to the end of the garden 
and watch the model as she sat, and even read aloud to her if 
Walter did not mind it. 

" Miss Sid," as they came to call her, looked older than she 
said she was. More handsome than pretty, tall without being 
weedy, well-formed, with big white arms and neck almost too 

1 Now Adam House, near the Green, on trie high-road to Richmond. 


columnar. Her eyes were blue, the colour of agate, egg-shaped, 
rather Eastern, pale and unsparkling, like the pools left by the 
tide on the shore of a yellow beach that but languidly reflect 
the blue of the sky over them, and prominent, so that she could 
not have worn a veil without fretting the eyelids. She had 
no eyebrows to speak of. Her upper lip was short and there 
was a cleft in the lower one. In repose the face seemed full of 
character, not all of it good, bearing at times an expression 
described by Mrs. Deverell, who ordinarily never used the 
word, as sensual and at the same time starved a saint's mouth 
or a sinner's ? . . . 

The matron, who had buried a daughter, considered Miss 
Siddall's vivid colouring a bad sign and Said a girl like that 
ought never to have been put to Mrs. Tozer's. Those places 
were regular breeding-grounds of consumption. She would 
not be surprised if the mischief had begun already. No, Miss 
Siddall must not think of going on with that job. As a second 
shop-hand she had been getting twenty-four pounds a year, 
exclusive of board and lodging. Her friend Jeannet got nearly 
double, but she had served her full apprenticeship. And 
indeed and indeed the hours were terribly long six in the 
morning till eight at night : sometimes in a full season Liz was 
not home till daylight. Mrs. Tozer put upon her a bit because 
she happened to be a friend of her mother's. 

Obviously, she could make more as a model than as a milliner. 
Models were paid a shilling an hour, that is to say, five shillings 
for a morning's sitting and seven-and-six for the whole day. 
Mrs. Deverell had asked Isabel Frith. In the Schools they were 
paid at a higher rate . . . varying ... in the R.A. Schools it 
ran to half-a-crown. 

Miss Siddall's hair, of course not her eyes, too pale, or her 
nose, too round was her best asset as far as painters were 
concerned. But then, the colour wouldn't suit every taste. 
She did it very cleverly, without a net or pads, and so that it 
covered the ears properly. (Mr. Tennyson was supposed to 
have brought in that fashion ; he said women's ears, in general, 
were so ugly that they had to be covered.) 

Walter disapproved of the step she proposed to take, but 
what alternative could he suggest? Her talent for stringing 
verses would not keep her and she would be no use on the stage, 
though she had a good figure, because of her voice slightly 
sibilant, turning into the faintest little hiss whenever she got 


excited or tired with, talking too long. She did not ever talk 
much, perhaps from a fear of betraying this peculiarity. 

There really seemed nothing Walter could do for her but 
marry her, and he had not enough to marry on. His father 
would have opposed it and his mother too. He was as weak as 
wax in the hands of that good lady. And, moreover, he felt 
queerly, unaccountably ill at times. The doctor had advised 
him to take a rest, but he only worked the harder. Honourable 
to excess, he did not consider himself justified in taking a step 
that would involve another person's happiness until his malady, 
if malady there was, had declared itself. 


She was a good model, taking poses -readily and maintaining 
them. In the rests she read hard out of the books Walter lent 
her ; at home they called it waste of time. He tried her with 
The Idylls of the King, but she had read everything of Tennyson's 
she could get hold of, ever since she had found a poem of his 
written on the paper round a pound of butter. That was the 
way, said he, many manuscripts went. Landladies sold them 
as waste-paper or lit the fires with them. Gabriel had found 
the maid at Charlotte Street using up some of his translations 
from the Italian poets in that way* 

He amused her by quoting Tupper's verses about the Club 
Magazine : 

Come, Early Christians, bring a knife 

And cut these woeful pages down ! 

You would not have them haunt the town, 
Where butter and where cheese is rife ? 

For of course the P.R.B. had had to have an organ. Some 
thing like the old Keepsakes and Annuals. Out of forty alterna 
tive titles that of The Germ was chosen. It was to comprise 
forty pages, with two etchings, to be sold at a shilling and 
come out monthly. By Christmas Eve fifty copies were in the 
printers' hands. Millais, though he had caught a bad cold 
sleeping on his truckle bed in The Carpenter's Shop (Meux's 
Brewery), had his illustration ready and Gabriel his story too, 
though he had put off beginning it till the very last and, 
excessive in all things, had had to sit up all night to finish it. 
They had not been allowed to have the Letters printed on the 
cover somehow their innocent swagger had antagonised John 

Bull already. But the Brethren, going round to leading book 
sellers with copies in hand, had^ not done badly. Hughes, the 
porter, sold fifty, and Stephens by January had disposed of 
thirty copies, and Hunt had managed to get off twelve out 
of the sixteen he had undertaken, on the way from his new 
studio in Prospect Place to Newman Street. 


But it died. On the seventeenth day of February next year 
Millais, backed by his redoubtable and hard-headed mother, got 
his way, and in committee it was decided not to bring out 
another number. And the housemaid at Somerset House lit 
her fires of a morning with the little booklets which fetch 
nowadays several pounds a copy. 

In a last kick and flicker, posters were pasted and sandwich men 
walked up and down the gutters in front of the fine folk attend 
ing the Private View of the Royal Academy on Whit Monday, 
announcing " The Germ's " brilliant and enduring qualities. 

Two works by the Brethren attained the honours of hanging : 
Hunt's Rienzi and Millais' Christ in the Rouse of His Parents* 
and, drawing the whole venom of the critics, suffered the brunt 
of the stone-slinging of the accredited Philistines of our isles. 
The critics, Kingsley, Chorley, S. C. Hall and Frank Stone 
called the Hammer of the Pre-Raphaelites, who could quote 
the sermons of Savonarola at them were unanimous. Abuse, 
contrasting with the praise and oft-sawder dealt out, almost 
by the yard, to the pictures of accredited men and R.A.'s. 2 

They were lost for the time. Ruskin had not yet come for 
ward to speak up for the infant iconoclasts, the baby destroyers 
of the images in the Temple of Crudities ; and, with all the 
power of his eloquence, reasoned, crushing and subtle, raise his 

1 Dickens, wrote, "The loathsome minuteness of * The Carpenter's Shop,' the 
hideous, wry-necked, blubbering, red-haired boy and his common-looking mother 
. . . who would have disgraced the lowest gin shop in London." It is to be 
supposed that the ex-bootblacking factory boy from Day and Martin's knew what 
he was talking about, writing superior in the midst of his own lovingly chosen 
floral wall-papers and carpets. 

2 Of Mr. Sydney Cooper's " Hawking " " a small picture exceedingly sweet 
in colour "or Mr. Stothard's " Sleeping Nymph," among other detailed merits 
"charmingly coloured." While Rossetti was castigated for his "unintelligent 
imitation of the technicalities of Old Art, his golden Glorys and other infantine 


protest in their favour, dealing his tremendous indictment of 
England's art politics. 1 For a moment Ruskin was less a critic 
than a man, unskilled, inapt, much puzzled, in the throes of 
an undesired wedlock and the practice of its duties. He was in 
Venice with his Stunner, who was making it all very difficult 
for him. 


Gabriel Rossetti must have met his by now even painted 
from her. The little water-colour, Rosso Festita, is the image 
of her, and so is Beatrice at a Marriage Feast denying Dante her 
Salutation and Guardami ben, ben son, ben son Beatrice and 
every other Beatrice after that. 

He admired her then, certainly loved her, when ? William 
"' could not say," of this brother of his, so lacking in sense of pro 
prietorship or possessiveness in anything " tin " or " digs " ; 
models or mistresses, pictures, china or lead pencils, albeit he 
freely borrowed such, at times convenient to himself but not 
perhaps to others. But though he assumed an umbrella easily 
he was equally willing to lend his and, if he slept in a friend's 
bed, was eager enough to put him up whenever he had a place 
of his own. The Sid he permitted to pose for them all without 
a murmur. For the moment he was not ready for her, unpre 
pared for the sudden eclosion of sentiment which broke out 
into the passion which ended by wrapping them both in an 
everlasting coat of flame, like Dante's doomed lovers in Hell. 
As animals intending to mate will approach each other, describ 
ing wide but gradually narrowing arcs, so humans, whose sexual 
peripatetics are determined by the higher nerve-centres, will 
seek to prolong the pleasantly harrowing ante-period : will 
simulate indifference, suggest dislike, even blackening 2 the 
object of their unconscious preoccupation. 

1 Italy in her great period knew her great men and did not despise their youth. 
" It is reserved for England to insult the strength of her noblest children, to 
wither their warm enthusiasms early into the bitterness of patient battle and to 
leave to those whom she should have cherished and aided no hope except in 
resolution, no refuge but in disdain." Modern Painters, 

2 See the rancorous remarks made to his confidant, by Keats about a lady called 
Charmian, though nevertheless he " would like her to ruin him " ! 


Miss SiddalPs second sitting was to Hunt, in boy's clothes, 
for what was farcically called Two Gentlemen and a Half. She 
was the half Silvia in the Forest of Arden, otherwise Knole 
Park. And she was thus brought acquainted with a girl 
" good-hearted to the core, with the makings of an intelligent 
woman in her " whom Hunt was having educated with a view 
-to espousal should she prove herself fit. Miss Siddall took a 
dislike to Miss Miller there and then and would not go down to 
Sevenoaks for tf a kind of picknick the Brethren were having 
that October, real girls sitting under real trees, and staying all 
together at Mrs. Hearnden's, at Number Five, High Street. 


Generous and rich, inasmuch as he was able to live at home, 
Rossetti lent Hunt enough to go on with and found him a 
buyer for The Christian Missionary, at one hundred and sixty 
pounds, so that he declined an offer of the post of draughtsman 
to the Mosul Expedition and, pursuing the straight and Pre- 
Raphaelite way, started on Claudio and Isabella, going across the 
water every morning to Lambeth to get the prison cell for it. 
It was six months since he had made any money whatever, but 
he had found a sovereign in the stuffing of an armchair, which 
tided him over for a bit. Woolner had got a nice commission 
for a medallion of Wordsworth and hoped to " get " Carlyle. 
Gabriel Rossetti talked of " cutting " art altogether and applied 
for the post of telegraph clerk on the North- Western Railway, 
but gave it up on finding that he didn't know anything about 
the use of the little needles diddling about in front of his 
eyes nor wanted to learn. He didn't like people to know 
how poor he was, so sat grouting alone all day in his wretched 
study where the rain came in, complaining of toothache and 
took laudanum for it, as anyone would. 

William was now the chief breadwinner of the family. Old 
Mr. Rossetti's eyesight was failing and his engagements for 
lessons fell off so that a move to a house at a lower rental was 
indicated where they could live according to their principle, that 
" No butcher or baker or candlestick maker," in the words of 
the nursery rhyme, "had a claim unpaid." William found one 
near Mornington Crescent, where his mother and sisters pro- 


From a photograph 

posed to open a day-school. It was not far from their relations ; 
the Polidori aunts who were fairly well off and had not much 
else to do with their money. 

William kept his mother and sisters mostly on his screw 
from the Board of Trade, and by reviewing. Schooled by his 
brother, he framed his articles "so as not to show too much 
family bias " here or there. He was to put Hunt first and " not 
defend my mannerisms they are absurd and merely super 
ficial/' He had to hunt up the dealers, see them and bring 
them to the picture market, " but not with too much officious- 
ness.' 5 He was to look up " the Demon Dunlop " and get hold 
of White, " that shining, baldpate, deep old file," mostly to be 
come across at Jullien's Promenade Concerts. Or the pensive 
pork-packer of Belfast, Francis McCracken (" Crack " or " the 
Kraken " by analogy with the Sea Serpent), whom Rossetti 
never did see in the flesh, " a real scoundrel," but who had 
got a little money. And always be civil, which was not difficult, 
to Barbara Leigh-Smith, whose brougham had C-springs, and 
to her friends the Howitts, who got his poems into magazines 
for him. And, William, look to it " Lady Bath's cheque not 
to hand ! " 

Lady Bath had bought The Girlhood. She was the conquest 
of Maria's bow and spear ; while Tom Seddon, passionately 
adjured by Patmore, brought a most productive M.P. who 
commissioned a window in the Welsh church that a cousin of 
his had been given the job of rebuilding. 

Always clamouring for loans the loan of a bed, or half a one, 
the loan of a pair of trousers (he particularly affected Brown's 
best), the loan of " tin " to pay somebody for something, 
models, rent in arrears, colours at Roberson's, charities he was 
never half so hard up as some of those he borrowed from, Brown 
or Hunt or Allingham, or Hannay, poor dear, who was never 
at home in the daytime, but went out before the people of the 
house were up and never came back until they had gone to 
bed. Gabriel was never without a bed to lie on except in that 
year when the school in Arlington Street failed and the family 
separated, some going to Somersetshire to try another " lay " 
and the rest into lodgings. As young men go, he had plenty of 
pocket-money, for he earned it easily, in spurts, and spent it 
in the same way. He just wanted it wherewith to support his 
tempestuous generosities, purchasing power to back his daily 
quest of curios, old ivories, china, netsuke, jade, scraps of silk 


and brocade what poor Allingham, touring the second-hand 
shops with him for hours, called " bits of strangeness." He 
already had the soul of the brocanteur, the tic that became a 
mania for the acquisition of pictures that Howell forged and 
pawned and stole, for jewellery that his women wore and lost, 
for china that servants broke or mistresses used as missiles. 1 

He exaggerated his depression as he exaggerated his poverty. 
His friends, aware that a dentist could have dealt with his 
toothache and his blue devils been chased away by fresh air, 
got him at last down to Sevenoaks, where it would do him 
good to play hide-and-seek in the Park with Eliza Cook and 
Ledru Rollin. But he would not play. He found a good back 
ground for Rachel and Leah. He wrote canzoni in the evenings 
and in the day painted out of doors, with an umbrella tied to 
his buttonhole, copying a leaf. Neither the leaf nor the umbrella 
would stay still and those men made him get up at seven ! 
After exactly a week he returned by coach, to find that the 
" hop-shop " below his studio had " absquatulated " without 
paying its rent, so that the landlord had distrained on him and 
seized his furniture. 

As he had not yet begun to collect in earnest, the damage was 
less serious for him than for William, who lost all the books he 
had lent his brother at various times. Gabriel was taken by 
Brown into his studio, but he had to go and sleep at home. 
By December Deverell found a study for them both at twenty 
shillings a week or four guineas a month, three rooms on the 
first floor one with a window that could be cut right up to 
the ceiling for the painting light. So January of next year 
found them installed in Number Seventeen, Red Lion Square, 
with the obelisk in the middle and the stone watch-houses at 
each corner like family vaults, the middle all white and yellow 
with lilies and marigolds, and low-boughed trees under whose 
shade Deverell meant to set Rosalind to witness the encounter 
between Jacques and Orlando in the Forest of Ardennes. Another 
projected Shakespeare subject of Walter's was Laertes and 

1 The last woman he ever pretended to care for he put out of doors because of 
her onslaughts on his Delft, and there is, or was, a blue enamel snake with ruby 
eyes in a haystack, or in the stomach of the cow that ate the hay und weiter (lost 
by Miss Rosalind Howell). 


Ophelia. He must have a try at Ophelia too. And Miss 
Siddall was to do her hair high and curl it and pose as the 
Lady of Quality dancing, if not for her life, for her purse, on 
Hounslow Heath with Claude Duval. He finished this in 
October and gave it to Stephens, but the others, including The 
Flight of an Egyptian Ibis, he never even began. Rossetti 
finished the Rosalind and altered the face of Celia. Why ? 



year, fortified by rustication and hard living, 
cheered on by pals' backing, still potent in fraternity, 
they meant to have another try at the R.A. William 
Rossetti, .in his news letter to Allingham in Ireland, 
has hope for next year's Academy. Millais would have three 
pictures, The Woodman* s Daughter, illustrating a poem by their 
valued friend Patmore, very, very P.R.B., Mariana, not so very, 
and Ike Daughters of the Sons of Noah hangers like scriptural 
subjects. Hunt's Two Gentlemen, William in his capacity of 
critic opined, would certainly take the shine out of his critics 
"as well as out of any R.A.'s work that may happen to hang 

near it." 

But 'The Woodman's Daughter was put in the Octagon Room, 
called the Condemned Cell, equal to an artistic sentence of 
death. Hunt was " abominably shirked off " the same place 
he had been in before with Rienzi. Millais came off best, he 
had two " on the line." x But the critics were dead against. 
Shirley Brooks walked about all day calling attention, with a 
loud sniff, to this or that outrageous picture : that little monkey 
Chorley was likewise in ecstasies of amusement while poor Mrs. 
Jones, near her time, had to be supported to a settee, and, even 
with the Howitts, friendly to the P.R.B. and useful in the 
Press, it was " The Woodman's quaint children . . . strange 
and naive in treatment. . . ." 

Hunt would hang about the R.A. to hear what people were 
saying. His poor old father was jeered at on his way to and 
from the City. Scurrilous letters and pamphlets were freely 
received by the Brethren and their relations. One Professor 
in the Schools had trained his pupils to hiss daily at the con 
temptuous references to the P.R.B. which he introduced shame 
lessly into the body of his discourses. Another wrote to a 
mutual friend that Mr. Millais must expect to be cut in the 

1 Keeper Jones, Head of the Antique, cherished an affection for his early pupil. 

4 o 

street by all decent-minded people. The President issued a 
prommciamento to the effect that this was the last year that 
he and the Hanging Committee " would admit this new and 
outrageous school of painting on their walls." 

And the Club, in January, held its sad little first anniversary 
meeting, as arranged at Millais* house in the study where, over 
^ a year ago, Rossetti had picked up the Lasinio book. The 
sceixe was the same. Tea was still provided in the study for 
Johnny and his friends by his handsome, decided mother, with 
her thin lips and deep-lidded eyes under the curls, surmounted, 
but not confined, by a none too clean cap. They passed some 
dull regulations and then Millais proposed that " we no longer 
call ourselves P.R.B. because of the misapprehension the name 
excites." Better to " let our converts be known only by their 
works." That was too much : they could not bear it. His 
motion was not passed : it was decided to make some more 
attempts to nobble the Press. Doctor Westland Marston was 
Editor of an important Journal, The Critic^ and they all attended 
a party at 'his villa in Camden Town. Mrs. Deverell took Miss 
Siddall, who did her credit. Of her two dresses, a grey and a 
black silk, both made by herself, the young lady chose to wear 
the black and looked, so Mr. Madox Brown said, like a queen 
on about three pounds. 

But Westland Marston and the other critics were not pro 
pitiated. Patmore had suggested to the greatest critic of all, 
that he should "write something kind about the Pre-Raphaelites." 
Ruskin was not sure he liked them very much. He thought the 
face of Silvia in "Two Gentlemen horrid (little witting that she 
who was to be his Princess Ida had sat for it !) and was quite 
sorry that the wives of Noah had not been drowned. His letter 
in the Times was useful, if a little grudgingly worded : " The 
admirable though strange pictures of Mr. Mttlais and Mr. Hunt." 

The little group dispersed 1 ; " some stayed isolated ; the 
majority drifting back into the ordinary and more profitable 
ways of life and art." 2 And Gabriel's sister used her poetical 
talent and her excruciating wit (that turned to acid in her old 
age) on the hapless, hopeless venture of her brothers. 3 

1 Hunt, sadly, " I am now only P.R.B. , but can't use the letters as there are 
no P.R.B. 's in the plural." 

2 Mrs. Oliphant. 

3 So rivers merge in the perpetual sea 
So luscious fruit must fall when over ripe 
And so the consummated P.R.B. 

4 1 

The faithful Allingham, on his arrival in town, went straight 
to Burlington House. All round him he heard the comments 
of " the despicable public/ 5 a ground-swell of disapproval that 
had not gone down since the opening day, and he was considerably 

That night he dined with Thackeray in Kensington Square 
quite a small party, Mrs. Carmichael-Smyth, Father Prout, 
Miss Anny and a Mr. Cole, much concerned with the Great 
Exhibition to come, and a young painter who was studying in 
Berlin, very handsome, rather Jewish-looking, wearing purple 
stockings, called Frederic Leighton. They talked Art. But, 
of the P.R.B., not a word ! 

Next day he went to Red Lion Square and rang the bell of 
Number Seventeen, looking wistfully up at the window on the 
first floor in which he imagined Gabriel and Walter to be 
working. A maid opened the door " Mr. Rossetti has gone 
away. Mr. Deverell is ill." Scribbling something on a card he 
gave it to her and walked sadly away down the steps. 

Someone had left the garden gate unlatched and he wandered 
up and down the strip of grass, noting that the trees were faded 
already, dry as the summer dust that whirled round the square 
and as pale, the leaves flapping like old tattered banners whose 
web had " perished " and their warp decayed, left in a church 
where no man comes to pray. London squares are always 
empty and yet he felt that there were people there ! l 

He went on to Thirty-five, Arlington Street, Camden Town, 
where he understood the Rossettis had recently moved, a wide, 
elegant road, with Highgate Hill, of a dull blue like the back 
ground of an Italian picture, at the end of it. He rang the bell 
of a two-storied house with an area, whence a servant put her 
head up to ask what he wanted. " Mr. William is at the play. 
Mr. Gabriel don't live here." 

As a last resort he looked for Gabriel at Brown's, who lent 
his study so often that there was never any knowing to whom it 

1 ... a place 

Where one might think to find a din 
Of doubtful talk and a live flame 
Wandering, and many a shape whose name 
Not itself knoweth and old dew, 
And your own footsteps meeting you, 
And all things going as they came. 


really belonged, except that Brown paid the rent. Gough, 
the model, coming to the door with a candle in his hand, lit 
him to the enormous study where Brown was lounging by a 
stove with a jar of shag and a bottle of whisky, alone ; but 
Allingham had thought as he came in that he had seen Gabriel 
looking down at him over the banisters with an " expression 
almost diabolic. . . ." 

It was Gabriel. He came down, lit a pipe and was as urbane 
as ever, with perhaps some slight sign of effort. In answer to 
an inquiry about Deverell's illness " Sick unto death, I think ! " 
adding, cheerfully, that Deverell's family had left Somerset 
House for the country. He asked how Miss Siddall was. 
Pretty well for her. She had sat to Hunt for Silvia and was 
going to sit to Millais for Ophelia. Millais had refused to go 
to Switzerland with the Ruskins and was off to Cheam with 
Hunt, where he had found a river for Ophelia to drown in. 
Of course the model couldn't be asked to get into that, but 
Millais' mother had invented a sort of bath arrangement filled 
with hot water, you could put an ordinary lamp under. The 
Sid didn't object to lying in it for an hour or so, drowning in a 
splendid old dress with silver embroidery which he had picked 
up in a " cag-mag shop " for four pounds. 

She lived in town now, to be nearer her engagements. He 
gave Allingham her professional card with the address, and, 
he added, " You must spell the name with only one / and one d. 
She is a Sidal of Hope." 


Next day he took Allingham to the Exhibition and, among 
the fountains, statues and models of ships, at a refreshment 
table attended by pretty Stunners, told him all about the 
ancestors of Miss Siddall (whose name was in future to be spelt 
Siddal). Her family coat was Three Birds and the word Honour, 
but they had a right to quarter that of Greaves (Per Bend Vert 
and Gules : an Eagle displayed) so her mother said. Scott, 
who had been making inquiries, said it was mostly true. The 
Siddals or the Greaves went back to the seventeenth century 
Slade Hall near Manchester and later of Hope in Derbyshire, 
near Castleton, an old market town lying in an angle of Hope 
Dale. Hope Hall, Scott said, was now a public-house, but the 
churchyard was full of authentic tombs, with the name on them 


spelt in all sorts of ways, according to the literacy or the whim 
of the stonecutter. A Norman name, of course Sudel or 
Suddel there were some of their family tombs in the church 
yard at Ovington in the County of Durham. 

And according to the Hope registers, the son of Jacobus 
Sidall et Anna Grant de Hope married into a much older family 
still, that of Greaves. There was a Greaves, a knight of Beeley, 
in the time of Henry III, but, about the time when Queen 
Anne came to the throne, a descendant of his settled at 
Swarkeston the bridge south of Derby, Allingham must re 
member, where the Pretender's Highlanders insisted on going 
back when they might have been in London ere night. (And 
what a good thing if they had : the Stuarts, bad as they were, 
had some feeling for art and we could have controlled them !) 
Rachel Greaves, the heiress of Crook Hall at Hathersage, married 
Christopher Siddal, but somehow or other her money did not 
avail Christopher. He was the first to let the family down, 
becoming a bankrupt, probably because of the failure of the 
flax industry ? 

Lizzy had got hold of some of the papers to show to her Gabriel, 
such as the Auditors' assignment. . . . "All creditors . . .for good 
and charitable reasons agree to accept and. take the remaining sum 
of money . . . proceeding from the sale of . . ." The poor man 
seemed to have sold a piece of land, at his disposal, to a rascally 
firm of solicitors and migrated to Sheffield, where he let them 
add another / to his name and ceased to be romantic, his children 
no^ longer christened and married in the church on the hill, or, 
dying, their names inscribed on tombstones in the church garth. 
Sheffield henceforth held their bones. There were some of 
them alive there. Christopher Siddal was Miss Siddal's grand 
father, and her aristocratic bearing and the Roman nose of her 
sister were thereby accounted for, together with her brother 
Harry's deficiency . . . ? These old families in their decadence 
had jolly well to pay for the prime. 

^ Rossetti talked of her all the time. She was now definitely 
his Stunner; her beauty had become the legend which the 
egotistic man^ of genius goes about to create round his own. 
And one begins to hear the faintly adverse criticisms of the 
sheep-like followers, daring to look over the hedge. Doctor 
Marshall ^uggested that Miss Siddall they long persisted in 
that spelling was one of Rossetti's " swans " and, like Petruchio 
bent on annoying Caterina, saw " no more beauty in her Than 


Sy kind jerinission cfW. T. Fremantle, Esq. 

From a photograph 

without candle may go dart to bed." (But then Marshall liked 
fat women and spoke admiringly in his lectures of " the well- 
cushioned female.") Her complexion he thought fine but mis 
leading no indication of health. None of the others admired 
her, while Arthur Hughes, who saw her at Somerset House, 
struck, like Miss Howitt, by her " unworldly simplicity and 
purity of aspect," said that she looked " a good little girl who 
probably read her Bible and said her prayers every night." 

Her manner did not vary with her new circumstances and she 
did not go the way to make the new people like her or feel at 
ease with her, confounding and puzzling them all by an 
obstinate withdrawal of personality, assumed, perhaps, in the 
beginning as., a defence and continued unconsciously until the 
end. Not friendly or chatty, but, like Beatrice, denying them 
nearly everything but her Salutation ; turning off the talk the 
moment it became personal to herself. As much as to say but 
she was too well brought up to say it that her " mind and 
feelings were her own." Why not ? It is the privilege of the 
meanest. She permitted herself to indulge in sarcasm, perhaps 
that was why Christina could not get on with her two of a 
trade. But nobody could have called her ill-natured as they 
did Christina. Described in popular style, she was " flighty " 
the usual complaint against servants under Victoria. 1 Born 
and bred in a slum ; but recently stationed behind a counter 
in a second-rate milliner's shop; translated with some sudden 
ness into a society excessively sophisticated, yawning with pitfalls 
for the unlettered and unlessoned, this young woman, sprung 
from a race whose wits are as sharp as the scissors they fabricate, 
did not care to give points to ridicule by talking freely until 
she had got her bearings. Looking like a Madonna, she had 
the sapience of the gutter-child. And a * little embittered ! 
Except Mrs. Deverell no society woman noticed her much. 
Gabriel's family did not welcome her and William Rossetti 
owns that he was not in her society " as much as might be 
expected." His descriptions of her appearance breathe an 
almost personal antipathy. He gives a list of her points ;. item, 
a good figure, a lofty neck, regular features, brilliant complexion, 
hair, abundant, of a coppery colour " that some people would 
call red " and did. Her upper lip was wrong. Her manners 
were good. After detailing her parentage or as much of it in 
his opinion as will bear telling, he asks leave to say u once for 
1 It was the word Swinburne used at the inquest to describe her behaviour. 


all " that she did know " how to behave in company and com 
mitted no faults of speech." And she had every claim to be 
called a lady. He had never heard of her pretensions to Family, 
or he discounted them. She had, he fancied, no religion. 

She never found time to sit to anyone but Gabriel now. Her 
sitting to Millais in December for Ophelia was the fulfilling of 
an engagement made long ago. Gabriel was not afraid that 
Millais would flirt with her his study was full of sketches of 
Mrs. Ruskin done from memory, after the fateful day when she 
and her husband had driven over to fetch Johnny to dinner in 
Camberwell and the love that fell between them was so obvious 
that even the servants marvelled. 

Miss Siddal came to Mr. Rossetti from Weymouth Street, 
Number One, where she lived in rooms over a Mr. Barbour's, a 
surgeon (the lodgings were kept by a member of the family and 
were quite, quite respectable), either to Newman Street or to 
Highgate, where the Howitts, connected with so much of the 
romance of Gabriel Rossetti's life (his playtime, if he ever had 
any), lived. 


Taken all round, father, mother and daughter, the Howitts 
were charming people. William Howitt had left off being a 
Friend and became connected with The People's Journal and 
Household, Words, which Mrs. Howitt, little, grey and charming, 
author herself of pleasant books for children, 1 helped him to 
edit. They entertained their friends simply, as Quakers use, 
and their connection with journalism procured publication for 
a first poem, Sister Helen (" by an artistic friend of ours "), in 
the Dussddorfer Alburn^ edited by a brother-in-law. They went 
away a great deal, and then Mrs. Howitt allowed " Mr. Gabriel " 
to use the studio at the bottom of the garden as often and for 
as long as he liked. 

Fifty-two was a bad year for nerves. Etna was in eruption. 
In September there was an earthquake, it rained all the time, 
and in October there was a terrific storm. Cold by November, 
with ^ a display of the Aurora which tallied with what Mrs. 
Howitt called " spiritualistic experiments made by persons 
interested in the new electro-biological discoveries." Mr. 

1 Mrs. Hewitt's best known work is Will You Walk into my Parlour? said the 
Spider to the Fly. 

4 6 

Howitt had sailed for the Gold Fields with Bernhard Smith at 
the beginning of the year and his wife and daughter were eking 
out defective postal communication with the other side by 
resort to the "Rapping Spirits," obtaining "most wonderful 
results/' Night after night they would sit with their intimates, 
Gabriel and Lizzy, Eliza Cook, Bessie Parkes, Miss Coutts and 
Miss Barbara Leigh-Smith, in the parlour of the lonely little 
house, and the damp would come in cold from the Ponds, 
and the dogs, about eleven, would begin to bark horribly and 
incessantly, which everyone knows augurs ill for those whose 
nearest and dearest are beyond the uses of telegraphy. Gabriel 
Rossetti would tell ghost stories how young George Frederick 
Watts, returning to town after a dinner with the lonides at 
Tulse Hill, saw and spoke to a woman in the shrubberies whom 
he thought to be one of the ladies of the house out for a lark . . . 
but she was indoors at the time ! And accounts of the seances 
that he and Blanchard were attending at the Academy in Sloane 
Street, describing D. D. Home, his eyes, inferior and pale by 
day but, by night, " like little phosphorescent lights that come 
together and dart away again." . . . And Barbara Leigh-Smith 
would say pettishly, " I do not like death, I tell you ! " in her 
downright way, as if confiding to them an unshared singularity. 
Cousin to Florence Nightingale : the eldest daughter of 
Benjamin Leigh-Smith, she acted as mother to his other 
children, commanding his house in Blandford Square, his 
servants and the well-hung carriage which the two Rossetti 
boys thoroughly appreciated. Her attention had been called 
to Gabriel by Ruskin's Edinburgh Lectures and she had sent the 
poor penniless lad a copy " Just a slight but very friendly 
mention of you on page 16." She was a year older than he 
(which, in Victorian apprehension, counted as ten years). He 
thought her " a really jolly fellow, with her golden hair, her 
breeches, her enthusiasms and her tin," summing up her 
advantages with Rossettian shrewdness, for, " kind, indefatig 
able and invaluable," her father allowing her three hundred 
a year : she regarded money as " the power to do good." Hand 
some and healthy, she liked to live in a draught and in the 
country wore a costume tending towards that appropriated so 
long and so unjustly by the male. But in London she con 
formed, though her dress was made of plain material without 
fuss or furbelows. Chignonless, she wore a plain band of velvet 
round her braided hair. 


She was not averse to male society but made no concessions 
to the pretensions of men (so anxious to reserve all the com 
fortable ways of living for themselves), devoting herself and her 
wealth to the removal of the disabilities that the law of England 
laid on women, more especially on poor clergymen's daughters 
and girls forced, without equipment, to become governesses. 
The first Suffragette, in a word ! 

She had built herself, near Hastings, a small house of red 
brick in the style of an old Sussex cottage a forerunner of 
Morris' protest against Victorian ugliness constantly inviting the 
young women engaged with her in The Cause to come there and 
recuperate. Anna Mary Howitt's room was crowded with 
Catholic emblems. Bessie Parkes, her second best friend, ran 
down very often and, at different times, Miss Coutts, Miss 
Meteyard, Emily Faithfull, Marian Evans and Eliza Cook in 
scribed their names on the red glazed bricks of the mantelpiece 1 
in the living-room. 

1 It is covered with names. 



ferment set up by the nightly search for models 
to paint and women to save, in Rossetti and Hunt, 
which left Millais, less morbid than the one and less 
didactic than the other, unaffected, was actually 
responsible for the first rift among the Brethren. Hunt, intend 
ing to contribute his illustration of the problem, was beginning 
The Awakened Conscience Miss Annie Miller's conscience for 
it was she who posed for the kept woman, standing up starkly 
in a drawing-room full of jardinieres and antimacassared chairs, 
overcome by hearing one of the songs 1 of her innocence strummed 
by her lover at the piano behind her, while the cat pulls over 
the what-not table and eats her canary out of the overturned 
cage. " Rooms like this " were strange to Hunt : he had set 
his Jenny or Rosabell down, for lack of unholy knowledge, 
in a room no more lasciviously furnished than his mother's best 

Rossetti had not yet begun Found, but he could not bear 
anyone else to handle that subject. He must counter Hunt : 
Hunt was not to have it all his own way ! 

Brown, who had had some luck " McCrack " had bought 
the Chaucer for sixty-three pounds and he had been offered 
the place of Head Master at the North London School of 
Design had taken a room in Heath Street, and was painting 
Work from out the window of a four-wheeled cab. His marriage 
was not yet announced. Emma and the child still lived at 
Hendon, but she came every day in the bus to see him and 

1 Oh ! don't you remember sweet A-a-lice, Ben Bolt, 

Sweet Alice with hair so brown ? 
She wept with delight, when you gave her a smile, 

And trembled with fear at your frown. 
In the old churchyard, in the valley, Ben Bolt, 

In a corner obscure and alone, 
They have fitted a slab of granite so grey, 

And sweet Alice lies under the stone. 

E 49 

receive the clerical instruction that would eventually make her 
fit to be introduced to his friends. He wanted Gabriel to 
come to Hampstead too and do his Rescue picture ; he would 
find him a cart, and a calf new from the cow, and himself pose 
for the countryman out of doors, so that Gabriel might get 
" the healthy blue that flesh assumes in the open air." 

No. Found was emphatically a town subject ; he had to get 
the antithesis of Rosabell's countryman- lover coming across his 
lost sweetheart in urban degradation. 

He saw his Rosabell crouching by one of the London bridges, 
and not long since he had gone with Woodward to the site for 
the new Crown Insurance Offices which the architect had been 
commissioned to do (in Venetian Gothic). There he had 
noticed a residential square or place, built in quadrangle form, 
tallish houses on both sides of the street ending in the bridge. 
From the corner block you could throw a stone out of window on 
to people's heads, and on that side he meant to have his rooms. 
He had settled it all as he waited for Woodward seeing his 
Commissioners. He would (" Yes, if you get up early enough," 
said Brown) see the sun rise on the river (" And smell it ! "). 
No, a great waterway like the Thames created a draught and 
blew the miasma away. So convenient. The river steamers 
served Chatham Place and at the corner were stairs where you 
could take a boat. Plenty of windows, though the tax was still 
on. Would Brown go with him to see it ? No, better take 
William more practical ! Brown saw that the place had 
caught the fellow's imagination and that his mind was made up. 
So did the landlord, another artist, Edward Duncan of the Old 
Water Colour Society, realise that the young fellow with the 
inward, concentrated face was set on these particular rooms. 
He closed with him and drove a fairly hard bargain for the 
premises just vacated by the Newfoundland and Colonial 
Schools Society. By November Gabriel was giving parties there. 

Chatham Place, in the precinct of Bridewell with a juris 
diction of its own, was first called Pitt and then Chatham 
Square. It represented a sort of spatulate widening of the 
new street that had been cut through the slums of Blackfriars 
when the last bit of The Ditch was covered over, leading to the 
fine new bridge built across to the Surrey side. Residences for 


By kind permission of the Librarian of the Guildhall 



gentlemen, set down amid the low-browed squalor, the higgledy- 
piggledy buildings of Bridge Street, Queen Street and the 
adjacent wharves. On each floor were three windows, arched, 
ogival, two on each side of the house door which looked like a 
window too. Each house had its little plot of cat-ridden garden 
(Never, Boyce, who succeeded him, used to say, were there so 
many cats as huttered about St. Bride's !) enclosed in low 
green palings with serrated top, boasting a green gate no higher 
than a man's knee. There was a lamp-post to every three blocks 
and one with two burners came just outside the door of Number 

Chatham Place was purely residential at first ; people were 
not afraid to sleep in its airs and successfully reared children 
there, 1 but it seemed now more or less given up to Societies 
and legal and other offices. The sun shone on the brass plates, 
polished every morning, of lawyers, auctioneers and accountants, 
insurance and colonial offices, land and immigration buildings, 
and even a Society devoted to the Proper Observance of the 
Lord's Day. One side of Number Fourteen gave straight on 
the river, the cowering wharves, the slippery sets of stairs, the 
greasy baulks, the line of them criss-crossed by black cranes and 
red sails. One could trace the long curved line of the bridge 
and its stone balustrade which " returned " to the recesses 
formed over the Ionic columns and pilasters placed upon the 
cutwaters of the piers. Both ends widened handsomely into 
quadrant corners, with easy flights of steps leading down to the 
water. And if one looked up one would see St. Paul's, under 
repair, with scaffolding about it, dominating all. 

The merit of Chatham Place was the view : its disadvantage 
the smell, of which Gabriel Rossetti was more or less uncon 
scious ; the odour of the disjecta of Vasto, so to speak, in his 
blood probably outdoing that of the Fleet Ditch at its best. 
There were romantic compensations. He liked to think he was 
living on Church property and therefore accursed; that the 
roadway beneath his windows was once a stream on which 
navies used to ride and known in its later stage as the River of 
Dead Dogs, whose stench was so strong that the monks of 
Whitefriars, over the water, used to complain that it overcame 
the smell of frankincense on their altars. 

1 Emma Lyon was Doctor Buff's nursemaid at Number Eight before she ran 
away with Greville and made her fortune, and Miss Dinah Mulock lodged as late 
as 1843 with her father in the very house Gabriel Rossetti first thought of taking. 


Though, it was nearly a hundred years since the Fleet River 
had been covered over, the coal wharves, the copper, the lime 
and the iron wharves and, worst of all, the Gas Light Company's 
wharf, just behind, made a stink combined with that of the 
grey, tireless, universal mud splayed over the flats at low tide, 
that sent many of his friends, less resistant than he, away from 
his parties with a sick-headache. As 'twere an iceberg, the 
lower part of the house vaults and cellars that held God knows 
what, only not wine was out of all proportion to the habitable 
apartments. There was a nice balcony to his end window 
looking on the river, where chairs could be placed, and he and 
his friends could sit outside and watch the stream of people 
going across the bridge. From a big window at the back he 
could see the Temple trees and gain the relief of green from 
so much grey and blue. 

William and he were taken as co-tenants at a rental of forty 
pounds per annum, to be paid quarterly, but the younger 
brother's name alone appears in the earlier directories. The 
sisters, who until the time of Gabriel's marriage called it 
"William's," entertained their vicars and pet curates at tea 
on the balcony. But William never slept there; he disliked 
the place there was not really room for him among the easels 
and folios, and he had a nose ! 

The accommodation (vide William) comprised " a spacious " 
painting-room, " a commodious " living-room, a small but very 
light bedroom and an ill-lit passage full of dusty book-shelves 
between those two last apartments. In taking this suite Gabriel 
obviously did not, at that time, contemplate marriage. 

All the furniture he bought had to be second-hand : one 
could find nothing new nowadays that was even tolerable. 
Knock-kneed couches and commodes stained deep with the 
crusted rime of ages he would cover with a nappe in the 
mediaeval sense of the word pieces of Eastern brocade that lit 
up a corner here and there and scraps of Genoa velvet that 
made a rich monotone of shadow in another. Lamps, statuettes, 
bas-reliefs were propped on spindly etageres or corner cupboards 
whose keys had long been lost so that the doors, after being 
carefully " put to," would yawn open suddenly at you. " Truck " 
(so Mrs. Birrell 1 called it) which had doubtless, as "Mr. Riz- 

1 The tenant of the ground floor of Chatham Place who " did " for Mr Rossetti 
He calls her Mrs. Burrell: Mr. AUingham Mrs. Birrell: and the Coroner called 
her Mrs. Birrill. I have gone by Mr. Allingham's spelling. 


zetty" said, graced or disgraced the palaces of the Borgias 
or the Visconti. She wouldn't give a bob for anything in the 
rooms. And on the walls, nearly covering them, squares and 
oblongs of coagulated mud, framed in faded gold that he called 
pictures, and mirrors that no one could see themselves in, but 
that ghosts would certainly look out of, if you were fool enough 
to stare into them ! 

He furnished as he went along : he was not afraid of empty 
spaces or unpeopled corners, aware of the value of due alter 
nations of dark and light. The dark is the playtime of the 
painter's eye, demanding, exulting in clarity all day : pleased 
to rest of an evening on the bat's-wing shadows that gather^ so 
quietly in the corners, the expanses of velvety gloom on which 
the images collected in the day's stress are spilled and spread 
to group themselves anew. " The little candle that sheds 
its beams but a little way " procures a delightful chiaroscuro : 
artists like Rembrandt did not dread the dark. Fancy if the 
Magi had been able to see the Christ Child clearly by the light 
of an electric bulb attached to the headstall of the manger in 
a stable, which nowadays would have been more like a cheerful 
bathroom ! Could the Raven have ejaculated his " Never 
More ! " with such awful incidence from the bust over the door 
if his listener could have studied the outlines of the ungainly 
fowl that preached to him of misspent opportunities ? No, 
dirt is a part of our Mother Earth, and a layer of it softens the 
harsh edges of things. The maid attached to the chambers was 
bidden leave things alone and not touch. She obeyed. His 
key was always put, when he went out, under the centre mat. 
Mrs. Birrell, slightly deaf, when surprised at her avocations on 
the ground floor and questioned, got into the way of answering, 
" Upstairs for Mr. Rizzetty," for this one of her gentlemen 
they were all gentlemen saw more people, was more popular 
than the Lord's Day Observance Society and the Prudential 
Mutual Life Society and kept more company than Mr. Keates, 
Consulting Chemist, or Mr. Simon Rendall, Solicitor. 

By November he had ceased to form part of the household 
at Arlington Street. He was not on good terms with either 
Christina or his father, who had come back from Frome no 
better and nearly blind " threatening soon to go under 
ground with beloved Polidori." He was worrying his son 
on minor points, objecting to his present signature wishing 
him to leave out Gabriel and sign himself Dante only and 


annoyed with him for the delay in the production of his Italian 
translations. The son, slightly annoyed and harassed, did not 
go to see him very often nowadays. 

Number Fourteen was not even ready ; the dilapidations not 
properly made good by the last tenant " The window seems 
an endless job ! " and he had only one lamp to arrange things 
by, but still he offers " tea and squalor at six on Thursday 
and a bed," though that might be on the floor, or a share of his 
own. He has already asked some men he met at Stephens' on 
Sunday, Millais, Hunt and Deverell, and is going to ask the two 
Seddons and Collins and perhaps Hannay, if he "can get the room 
decent by then." One of the Seddons defaulted, but the 
others including young Deverell, looking terribly ill kept 
faith. It was a man's party, so The Sid did not go. It was 
the last time Gabriel saw Walter Deverell. 


The first quarter's rent is due and he does not know where 
to turn for the money and is adjuring William to get it some 
of it anything up to twelve pounds (which was two pounds 
over) from a Polidori. Soon a cheque from Aunt Charlotte 
comes to hand. Then, " my beastly foot keeps me away from 
settling in altogether " so that he continues to occupy a room 
in Arlington Street, William being away at Hastings with papa 
in lodgings on the parade over which the three families of 
Rossetti, Brown and Cave Thomas had a retainer. He seeks 
Brown's advice continually. " Will Brown come in late after 
School and he will give him half his bed if he likes ? " For 
Hampstead was then afar and unget-at-able after eleven when 
the buses stopped, and Brown could hardly afford a cab 
except to paint from. 

" Gabriel is a myth and seldom visible to the naked eye, 
but I suppose we are all painting pretty hard in the daytime 
and don't know where to find each other o' nights," said one of 
the Brethren charitably. Their Chief was behaving like a 
newly-made bridegroom, denying himself to visitors and refusing 
invitations. Mr. Edmund Blanchard and Mr. Hannay called 
but did not find the key under the third mat and, though they 
heard voices, they knew better than to ring. Brown wrote 
asking Gabriel to dine and go with him to the Photographic 
Exhibition, but he declined for he had promised to take " my 


By kind permission of Harold Hartley, Esq. 

From a drawing by IX G. Rossetti 

pupil " to the last Jullieix concert of the season. But would 
not Brown come and see " dear Guggums' l drawings at Chatham 
Place instead " ? For, discovering some sort of aptitude, he 
had made her take up painting so that she might have something 
to do when he was not with her and an excuse for coming to his 
studio so often the light was better than in Weymouth Street. 

Sometimes he sat to her, his legs thrust straight out on the 
seat of the chair on which she propped her little baby easel under 
the studio gas, five burners like sausages on a stand, flaring, 
hissing, making the most uncanny shadows in the low-ceiled 
room. Tea was brought up to them by Mrs. Birrell for six 
pence, and Lizzy would shut the door and minister to Gabriel 
lying on an extempore couch of three chairs; he never stood 
when he could sit or sat when he could lie down. They would 
work on until they heard the click of the lamplighter's rod 
" setting the two seedy flames astir " that burned there outside 
and he, and even Lizzy perhaps, grew hungry. Then they 
would go out and have dinner at some chop-house near by 
Anderton's or the Green Dragon or the Howard or De Keyser's 
hotel, which occupied two of the houses in Chatham Place and 
was slowly invading it altogether. But it was rather too grand 
for them and too expensive. And after dinner he would s see 
her home to Weymouth Street, light up and begin to draw her 
again, she sitting huddled in the wicker armchair (the vulgarity 
of whose curves would have kept it out of Chatham Place even 
at a gift), racked with a pain she could not, Victorianly, name. 

Like most Italians he could digest anything so long as it was 
succulent and there was enough of it ; but the bane of Bohemia, 
which is indigestion, was her's and probably responsible for most 
of her inexplicable attacks. 

Her dislike of modelhood dated from those days when she 
had been smuggled into Somerset House, and with the con 
nivance of DeverelPs mother because his father was not to 
know. And later on, in Red Lion Square, when Walter's brother 
Spenser and his sisters Margaretta and Maria, and wild Eustacia 
Davies and demure Harriett Hogarth over from Heston, had 
invited themselves to picnic teas with the " Pre-Raffs " as a 
great excitement and she had sat mum on the estrade, free to 
take a book, while the four swished up and down in their crino 
lines, giggling and chattering about the ghost, treating her, 
perforce, as if she were one. 

1 Her newest pet name, taken from his own " Gug." 


It would have been in the nature of an insult for the artist 
to introduce his paid model to his lady friends. 

She had resented men coming in and out and talking freely 
as if she wasn't there ; Woolner's stories of his investigations, 
conducted by him to please Darwin, into the average suscepti 
bilities of models how far down, for instance, they would 
blush the first time they stripped for the Altogether. Moreau 
had known one who had actually blushed all over. And the 
landlord's insolent stipulation with regard to women employed 
on his premises for artistic purposes. 1 

Gabriel worked her very hard, never asked her if she was 
tired as Mr. Deverell used to do ; even beginning afresh after 
she had owned to fatigue. When he did grant her a moment's 
relaxation and she fell by accident into some new and gracious 
posture, bringing out fresh beauties of line and contour, he would 
exclaim " Just stop like that ! " and begin a fresh drawing. . . . 

Meek, unconscious dove the shrewish turn developed later 
she complied easily with all his demands, to please him, doing 
her hair in different ways, natural-seeming but all as com 
plicated as might be, whorls and arabesques of gold falling 
around, and sheltering her cheeks ; elaborate yet loose, a leaning 
tower that never fell, so cunningly was its gradient engineered. . . . 

In order to be ready to pose to Gabriel at any time she had 
informed Walter that she had not now time to go to Kew to 
sit for him. Time ! She had all the time in the world. Long 
since she had dropped Jeannet and Ellen Britten : Mrs. Deverell, 
who used to take her to parties, was dead, and Emma, as Gabriel 
said, was " pinnacled in the intense inane " out Hendon way 
until she should be educated enough to be presented to them 

Lizzy had not introduced her sweetheart to her mother : 
why should she ? He had not taken her to see his ! To keep 
Lyddy and Clara quiet she had told them in the strictest con 
fidence which she knew would be abused, that she was engaged 
to be married. And now and then she caught The Paragon or 
The Wellington at the corner and went across the river to see 
her people without telling Gabriel. But for the most part she 
would sit in the window-seat and look across to where her old 
home lay, over there under the Surrey Hills that one could see 
quite plainly, of a quiet blue on a clear evening the " Sunny 

1 " Models to be kept under some restraint, as some gentlemen and artists 
sacrifice the dignity of art to the baseness of passion." 


'ills " Mrs. Birrell called them. She saw again, as in a picture, 
the long, low, tiled roofs of the rope-walks, red-tiled, under 
which the men walked with bent backs, twisting the strands, 
the poplars and alders hanging over the little canals and ditches 
in Grange Road and Halfpenny Hatch and the green fields 
stretching behind their house with its own long garden, all the 
way to Deptford and Wapping. She, who never now did more 
than board one omnibus after another, used to tramp with her 
sisters and brothers all the way to Champion Hill and Penge ! 
It was still there, the sign of the bright-coloured Elephant with 
the Castle on its back and the two red grocers' teapots outside 
Mrs. Rose's, the Swan Tavern with the big white bird and the 
horses coming up to drink all day in the trough outside The 
World Turned Upside Down as hers was. And the old man 
without arms and legs who sat outside the Asylum for the 
Blind, and the blind man who drew on the pavement outside 
the Bricklayers' Arms. 

But she did not forget, for she never could she saw his eyes 
now whenever she closed her own the big man in farmer's 
clothes who used to come out of his shop and carry her across 
the street, when it was muddy, to save her pretty shoes . . . 
holding her with his bloody hands. . . . This Mr. Greenacre 
used to obsess her, though she thought' of him less since she 
had found her vocation. She had been told so often that she 
had genius that she now believed it. Brother William, a 
competent critic, had declared that she was " of uncommon 
capacity and various aptitudes " ; her talent for water-colour 
painting may have struck him as being one of them. 

Gabriel, of course, said and swore that she was wonderful and 
had her little things framed and hung up as finished productions. 
Christina, vexed by what she considered her own " non-com 
petence in anything," took some drawing lessons from Madox 
Brown, but, with the tactlessness that relations use, her brother 
forbade her " to attempt to rival The Sid in fainting! " He 
made this reservation, for well he knew how great Christina 
was, with her little poems scribbled on odds and ends of note- 
paper on the corner of her washstand at the rate of sometimes 
three a day ! 

Though she had not been to Albany Street, Miss Sid had met 
the sisters in Chatham Place planned carefully. " Tell Chris 
tina, if she will come here on Thursday, Lizzy will be here," so 
Gabriel writes to William, adding that he will be glad if she will 


come, as lie has told Lizzy of her wish to do so. A welcome 
relenting that periodically occurred whenever Christina's almoner 
for the moment had recommended Good Will to All Men 
and even to prospective sisters-in-law. But whenever the two 
girls met in Chatham Place or at Brown's, Christina, " speaking 
sparingly working at worsted ever/ 3 managed to give Lizzy 
pain and her brother umbrage. The cold, deliberate in 
solence, her attitude of " pushing away " of which her brother- 
in-law complains, were her protective armour against the cruel 
glances askance dealt from those large, heavy-lidded eyes full 
of the dove's crooning passion. Christina, though deeply 
religious, was still earth-bound. . . . 



Liverpool award of prizes had done much, for the 
P.R.B. "People are, in fact, affected towards us," 
said Hunt, who had sold Claudio and Isabella and 
paid off his debt to the old Millais'. Johnny was suc 
cessful with a portrait of Mrs. Ruskin in The Order of Release. 
Pre-Raphaelitism had already " become too laborious " for him ; x 
and not even a business proposition, so his mother said. And poor 
Walter Deverell had exhibited two pictures, for both of which 
Lizzy had posed, Twelfth Night and The Marriage of Rosalind and 
Orlando. The rumours of his ill-health that had been going 
about appeared to have no foundation. But Gabriel had looked 
unwell for some time, so Scotus said when he came up to town 
that Spring to see the R.A. Exhibition and Gabriel's picture. 2 
He stayed in Chatham Place and fell ill himself. 

Gabriel had a boil of which he could not get rid in spite of 
Maria's poultices, but did not connect Scott's ailing and his 
own with Chatham Place. Yet all the papers that year were full 
of the state of the river and questions were asked in Parliament. 
His mother put her finger on the spot at once, but he silenced 
her by telling her that a doctor who came to a party in Chatham 
Place had " liked the situation very much " and, by the way, 
his boil was better. 3 

1 George Moore : Impressions and Opinions. 

' 2 He was painting Giotto occupied on the Portrait of Dante, in his hand a pomander, 
made in the shape of Katherine of Aragon's badge the grenada or open pomegranate. 
People carried them in the Middle Ages, to deaden the effluvia of uncharted detritus 
and drainage matter. Such an object Theroigne de Mericourt, when she rode the 
cannon to Versailles, wore fixed in the head of her cane, to neutralise the smell 
of the Sacred People. 

3 Like many artists he did not notice smells. The divine furore of composition 
is an antidote to attacks of that kind. As one lights a fire in an infected area^to 
purify the air, so the artist, burning with the creative fever, is unconscious of outside 
stimuli, good or bad, for the time. I have seen my father sitting at his^easel, planted 
on the roof of a pigstye, contentedly painting away for a week of mornings. 


In June, however, he told her that he was going to Scott's 
for a week or two, " as I keep getting ill," to see if the fresh air 
and bathing would cure his boil. " Tynemouth is only half-an- 
hour from Newcastle by rail so that I can go out for the day and 
bathe." i 

Borrowing a carpet bag from someone, he took the train 
and travelled from 7 a.m. to 9 p.m., arrived in Newcastle and 
drove to St. Thomas Street in time for supper, full of his woes and 
with his carbuncle for Mrs. Scott to nurse she gathered that 
Miss Sid was not good at poulticing. 

From Newcastle, in a letter marked Private, he informed his 
brother that she might be working at Chatham Place, perhaps 
sleeping there, " so please don't encourage anyone to go near the 
place " except " McCrack," who was to be allowed to see certain 
works by arrangement. Lizzy would pick up his letters and 
forward them. 

Mr. McCracken did not go to Chatham Place after all and, 
even if he had, would not have been shocked if the artist's pretty 
model had opened the door to him. The other tenants, meeting 
her on the stairs, thought of her as Mr. Rossetti's mistress. Mrs. 
Birrell, though perfectly civil, probably thought so too for 
gentlemen, even the most hard-working, do not care as a rule to 
live without female society of a kind. Lizzy was probably 
the first woman to live by herself in a bachelor's flat. Stiff, 
haughty and fearless, looking not in the least professional model 
or mistress she just took her clothes, her baby easel and her big 
wprkbox to Gabriel's rooms and stayed there, living for days 
without speaking to a single human creature except the caretaker 
and her daughter. She went out for her meals or brought in 
something in a bag. There was no provision for cooking at 
Number Fourteen, even if she had known how. 

^She coughed a little, but not enough to keep her awake at 
night and, if it did, she would lie still, inventing and remembering 
poetry, listening to the various night-sounds, shouts, cries, 
screams even, but was not afraid " with any amazement," for 
nothing had happened to her as yet and she feared little except 

1 Tynemoutli is the Lido of Newcastle which is as smelly as Blackfriars and was 
just then getting ready for its epidemic of cholera in the autumn Though Gabriel 
did not bathe at Tynemouth or anywhere else, he did carry out the other part of his 
programme and walked twelve miles in one day for the last time. 


earthquakes, which mostly occurred abroad. But this was a 
queer house to be alone in. The foundations were so many 
times in the twenty-four hours, actually in the water : in the 
night, when you heard it best or worst weltering about the 
corner stones back and forth " the blind wave feeling round 
his long sea wall, In silence ..." from her favourite poet. He 
had happened to mean a particular cave by the sea, 1 she had been 
told, hollowed out of the base of a black basalt cliff, at the end of 
a quiet bight where the fishes go to spawn . . . somewhere in 
Yorkshire. It fitted here. 


Gabriel came back full of complaints. Newcastle was a 
beastly place. Nor had he been a success. He had kicked 
Scott's dog and abused Scott's admirable and beloved brother 
David, but he had written Sister Helen and painted Carlisle Wall. 

To return, he had entrained at Newcastle for Coventry, and 
thence to Stratford, where he had sat upon a hillside and (in a 
sonnet) " seen the gold air and the sunset fade, And the last 
bird fly into the last light." And then (see his bread-and-butter 
letter) " back to the accursed circle, bones and skulls rattling, 
goblins mumbling, owls beating their obscene wings." Maybe 
he was receiving some Freudian information of the obscure 
root of his malaise. But he put it down to the incidence of 
the rent and disappointment over McCracken's not having 
turned up. 

The first thing he saw when he let himself in was the portrait 
of herself which his clever sweetheart had been doing while he 
was away, for a surprise. He lifted the canvas from the floor. 
She had exaggerated her defects : the too prominent eyelids, 
the mouth pursed like that of a nursery governess. He almost 
laughed but he never laughed though it was a fine per 
formance for one who had only just begun to handle oils. The 
poise of the head was amiss ; the artist, doubled with the model, 
had had to crane backwards at every stroke and then resume the 
position. He alone knew how to pose her the right way, in the 
attitude she at once took on when told to let herself go, surprising 

1 Was it Lear's too the wave that 

. . . keeps eternal whisperings around 
Desolate shores and with its nightly swell 
Gluts twice ten thousand caverns. 


in so young a girl, as of a woman whose lover has kissed her 
" until she be wearied out/ 3 assuming the aspect of passion 
jaded, yet eager for a renewal of love, her pale eyes, " as of a dove 
that sickeneth," hid " in the sweet dimness of her loosened hair's 
downfall." The hair that people had jeered at, jeered at still, 
and that perversely had bound him to her for ever, as a man and 
an artist, so that when he painted her or wrote of her, upsurged 
in him all his old tenderness. 

That bewitched, inhibited man, Ruskin, knew it and told him 
often how much more " beautifully and subtly " he worked when 
Lizzy sat to him. " She cures you of your worst faults when you 
only look at her." 

But she was no good at nursing, so he went back to Arlington 
Street to be tended by sister Maria. Scott invited him back to 
Hexham, but now it would be too hot in Newcastle. He spent 
the next three weeks mostly in bed at his people's house. The 
boil gave way to Maria's treatment, so that he left off his poul 
tices, got out of bed, came down to the parlour and was wearying 
to get back to his study. He had an idea that the housekeeper 
and Lizzy between them had kept McCrack away. 


She worked at her portrait and by August it was finished 
" A perfect wonder ! " Gabriel said, helped a little with the 
colour, and was going to send it to the Exhibition. . . , " She 
has been very ill though, lately." 

This is the first discernible waft of the wings of Azrael the 
Angel of Death. 1 Emma Brown did not at all like the look of 
her young friend. Near the Browns, at Twenty-four Sussex 
Lodge, Finchley Road, a friend of the Howitts had come to 
live whose daughters played with his little Cathy. Not quite 
an ordinary doctor; he was a Homoeopath, a Swedenborgian 
and a bit of a crank, and published poems which he said he had 
been " constrained to write without his own volition." 2 

Gabriel quite approved of Emma's taking Lizzy to see 
Dr. Wilkinson. He did not particularly want to call in the 
family doctor. 

1 About August 25th, 1853. 

2 What Gabriel always called the " Bogie Poems." It was Garth Wilkinson 
who introduced Blake to the reading world 


Y ^^ 

ind permission of Harold Hartley, Esq. 

From a drawing by D. G. Rossetti 


Wilkinson did not send Mrs. Brown out of the room, for he 
did not think Miss Siddal would stand it. He indicated an 
armchair and she assumed the position in which she could sit 
the longest. Big-faced, quiet, tall and straight as a spear, gentle 
and deliberate in manner, Wilkinson considered her. Fatefully 
roseate, perniciously lovely, she waited until he should tell her 
her fate, sitting very still, with half-closed eyelids, head pressed 
back into the swelling cushion that almost hid her cheeks on both 
sides. The contour of the bosom was dissimulated under the 
plaited folds of her dress, the whole languid torso masked by its 
sheath of pliable whalebones converging to the low-placed, 
pointed waist. But he could see that there was no such con 
striction as ladies use. He noted the long thin feet pushed out 
from under her skirts, crossed on the footstool he had advanced 
for her. She did not use them much they were as thin as her 
hands. He noted those, flabby and blue-veined, and the shape 
of the arms -like little Lyddy's, fine, but in her case out of 
proportion to the rest, lying supported on the arms of the chair. 

" Move them ! " he ordered, and the sheaf of fingers was clasped 
and fell again into her lap as if she would never lift them again. 

Long legs, long fingers, long throat, dullish prominent eyes, 
luxuriant hair all characteristic of one type of what we now 
colloquially call T.B. Distinct curvature of the spine ! He asked 
the usual questions about her way of life, and experienced the 
same difficulty as William Rossetti did in getting anything out 
of her, though she did not, of course, permit herself to be 
" flighty " with him. Her life was still her own, though death 
was implicit in it. Both she and Wilkinson, approaching the 
theme from different angles and avenues, knew this. The poet 
in the doctor got at the deep, dark kernel of inward knowledge 
that every human being possesses about himself. 

She was vocal enough about the unhealthiness, the cold and 
damp of her old home, which had doubtless encouraged the 
illness ; the stagnant canals and cluttered-up hatches and the 
mixed smells of the avocations practised by the inhabitants of 
the region ; parchment, glue, size and chemical works, and how 
the Mumpers who made brooms, always said that the Plague, 
which had been so bad hereabouts, still lingered. She was too 
loyal to her parents and to Millais to mention her fireless bedroom 
and tell of that P.R.B. experiment on the body of a hapless 


woman in Gower Street, but she owed no loyalty to Mrs. Tozer 
there was no need to blink facts there. But of the crescent 
horror of her childhood, which grew with her growth instead of 
fading out with puberty and the onrush of fresh images, 1 she 
told him nothing. Her class is notoriously shy of doctors. 

Garth Wilkinson recommended change and a confrere of his, 
Doctor Hailes of Hastings. She must not think of working for 
the present. 

But Gabriel, getting a nice commission from Routledge to 
illustrate a selection of her own dear Border Ballads, to be 
chosen by her own dear Allingham, handed over some of her 
favourites to see what she could do with them. " She ought not 
to paint, but this, of course, she must do." At least she was 
taking her codliver oil. 

She had refused to tell him in detail what the doctor had said, 
he put no faith in Mrs. Brown's version, who would ? and, 
like many another artist, confronted with circumstances which 
he humanly conceived himself powerless to avert, took refuge 
in a cynicism which haply belied his real feelings. " Models 
suffer from sitting still -when they are consumptive," and " always 
contrive to look their worst when wanted to look their best," and 
other such thankless speeches, came from his lips. Like a priest 
serving the altar who should. suddenly see the Madonna swoon 
from her pedestal, deprived for the nonce of her good offices and 
intercessions, so he, suddenly saddled with the care and protection 
of an invalid, was unable to adopt the ancillary attitude and leave 
his own comfort out of the question. What was he to do ? He 
had any amount of commissions to fulfil. Going away just now 
was an impossibility. There was " McCracFs " commission, 
with which he was getting on, and the Flint arrears. He had 
not time to take her to the seaside, and even if he had had time, 
no money for lodgings, and the rent was due here and, instead of 
setting to and painting a picture to raise it, he was making and 
sending Scott caricatures of his landlord tearing his hair, with 
a scrip of objurgation issuing from his mouth ! 


Partly out of rivalry of Christina, Lizzy was writing verse that 
she made no attempt to publish nor Rossetti for her. The 

1 William Rossetti, in his so brief account of his sister-in-law, considers the 
memory of the murderer's very touch as worth recording. He realised its Freudian 
signification and once, at the Robinsons', he told me all about it. 

poems were not quite good enough ; like her drawings, frustrate, 
without force, mere imitations of her Master, down to his great 
idea of Inter-Redemption. But her version of the Rescue- 
Complex was as the little lecture of Browning's Pippa to the 
whores of Venice as against the tremendous implications of 
Jenny and The Blessed Damozel. 

She herself is the protagonist throughout. She has died, 
and winged angels have borne her up to the Judgment Seat to 
tell the Christ, bending down, her woes. And later, these 
angels " her lover's soul shall bring " while she stands by singing 
and they play among themselves. She sings because she is glad, 
she knows that all will be well and they are both to be received 
into Eternal Life, when " he and she and Angels three Before 
God's Face shall stand " at last. 

She will go first, of course, but Gabriel is not to grieve or weep 
bitter tears that might prevent her soul from passing, but to sit 
meekly at her side and " watch her young life flee." And when she 
is dead he is to distinguish her in the throng of spirits floating 
past. . . . They are represented so, flying across a starry heaven 
in the Lasinio book that old Mr. Millais'had given to Gabriel, 
which was now in the little passage-room full of books that nobody 
ever dusted. 

She worked up her poems, much as Swinburne did, inserting 
and erasing, like him, on long sheets of blue post paper, altering 
and re-altering them : urgently Pre-Raphaelite in her attempt to 
get the one lonely word, because it is the only one, and the little 
intimate detail amid the rhetoric which will bring the situation 
before us. Her range of subjects suggests Edgar Allan Poe, 
of whose verse she had heard so much repeated. " Gone, gone 
for ever like the tender dove, That left the ark, alone," The 
buried shepherd's grave, grass-grown, " where his lambs could 
come and bleat over him." Like Poe, who said he stayed for 
fourteen nights in the churchyard where his lost Lenore was 
buried, Lizzy's thought, after her visit to the doctor, dwelt on 
" grey headstones and green moss pale church-grass waving 
in the wind " that is blowing the brown leaves over, or kissing 
the dust from off the tombs with faint carven effigies of the dead 
prone along their surfaces 

Lying alone 

With hands pleading earnestly 

All in white stone. 

6 S 



WILLIAM ALLINGHAM came over in October 
and, visiting the circle at Highgate, the Seddons, 
the Tebbs, Patmore and the Howitts, was told of 
Miss SiddalPs state of health, of which they could 
not get Gabriel to take enough notice. Barbara Smith, deep- 
toned, gave him instructions how to find Gabriel in his 
new digs. 

Gabriel was painting, but he quickly took his picture off the 
easel and turned it to the wall. It was not Found. He had left 
that aside in a temper in two tempers. He was annoyed with 
Hunt for another reason than *The Awakened Conscience, and with 
Johnny Millais too. The pair had managed to collar Ruskin, 
who refused to recognise dear old Brown at all, and whose 
acquaintance he himself seemed so far unable to make. Yet Hunt 
(and Halliday) had been staying with him that autumn in a 
lonely cottage in the Highlands, where the Professor had installed 
himself, his young wife and a beautiful young man, leaving them 
alone together while he went to Edinburgh to give his lectures. 
Halliday had remonstrated with him, in view of the appointments 
of the cottage. There was not room to swing a cat in it and 
meals were sent round from the inn. Millais had twice run 
away from temptation, and returned. He was going back now. 
He had only come up to receive his Academy Diploma, and Hunt 
was staying in London, putting off his journey to the East 
because he was trying to get Johnny to go too and keep out of 

Millais would not go, Gabriel told Allingham. Something 
else, more important than a woman to him, was keeping him 
back. A friend ! 


" If you want to see Deverell alive you had better go soon, for 
he is very bad." 


Deverell had been ailing for the last six months, but had 
insisted on going on with, his work ; his brothers and sisters were 
dependent on him since his father's death. His complaint was 
now found to be Doctor Bright's disease of the kidneys. 67 
October people had begun to guess the truth. Woolner, return 
ing from the Antipodes, wrote that he hoped that " maybe 
Hunt would be back too " (Hunt, who had not yet gone), and 
the Brethren would all meet and enjoy themselves again " poor 
Deverell excepted." 

Misfortune dogged the poor lad. After his father died a little 
sister was struck with paralysis and lost the use of her arm for life. 
Then he, the breadwinner, got ill. The move from the Strand 
to Kew had necessitated going backwards and forwards to his job 
in all weathers, walking home in the rain or travelling in draughty 
third-class carriages. Gabriel begged him to use one of the 
rooms in Number Fourteen, " but he keeps off coming to me 
because of some sketches he wants to make for his next picture." l 

He did not know his danger but, in November, Dr. Marshall, 
who was by way of attending the Pre-Raphaelites for nothing, 
confirmed the verdict of Deverell's own doctor. There was a' 
chance for him if he would only take reasonable care but, the way 
he was going on, he had only two months to live. Rossetti had 
repeated his offer of Chatham Place, " so much more cheerful 
than Kew " but Deverell had answered coldly that he must not 
think of moving just now. 

He was never again to darken its doors, but if we are to believe 
Stephens and Lizzy, his fleeting thought travelled there in the 
moment of death. 

In those last weeks he turned to Hunt and Millais, though it 
was Rossetti he had loved. Millais, the only one of the P.R.B. 
to win the fight of their juvenescence, was now but faintly 
putting up the other great fight in which he did not win. " He 
won't go back to Glenfinlas," they said but he did. Returning 
to London on Christmas Day he went to church three times 
and next week dined with his enchantress at Herne Hill. Yet, 
in love, ambitious and hard at work, he found time to sit with 
his sick friend, reading aloud to him, beating up help. . . . He 
begged for Deverell of Ruskin, whose portrait he was painting, 
whose wife he was stealing, of kind Mrs. Combe for comforts for 
the sick man. He deplored the apathy of those about Walter, 
the servant incompetent and the young sister not much use. 

1 The Doctor's Visit. 

6 7 

" Last night she went out to a dance and was not back till twelve 
o'clock," l so that when Millais got to Margaretta Terrace, where 
they had moved, the fire was out and the patient leaning un 
covered half out of bed. He could only touch toast and milk 
and was wasting away. Millais thought it time he saw a clergy 
man, but they dared not tell him because he was fretting over the 
fate, in the event of his death, of his people. 

They let him know one cold February morning that he could 
not live through the day. Wishing a little fretfully that he had 
been told before, he supposed he was " man enough to die/' and 
died as his father had made him live, an agnostic, without 
benefit of clergy. He had not been able to hear what was said 
to him for some days before, but, when Rossetti came uninvited, 
he rose up in bed and kissed him. 

Rossetti wished that he had been- able to go oftener but 
supposed that the patient would not have been allowed to see 
him ? " Pity ! He might have had something to say to me ! " 
He might, indeed. 

Lizzy, with Frederic Stephens, had been leaning out of the 
window in Chatham Place on that snowy morning, watching 
through the curtain of snowflakes the people going over the 
bridge. Gabriel was inside working. Stephens had said sud 
denly, " There goes Deverell ! " 

It was the very moment he died alone in the room the nurse 
away and Millais waiting in the parlour. 


At the funeral were Brown, Stephens, Munro and of course 
Millais, but Gabriel averred that he " could not trust his excit 
able nature." He was invited to a party that very evening but 
did not know if he " would be in spirits to go to it." He kindly 
undertook to finish a picture the dead man had left on the easel, 
so that the family would get the money, and kept his word, taking 
licence to alter " what I do not quite like in the face t>f Celia," for 
which Lizzy had sat. 

His letters to his intimates gave colour to inevitable inferences 
with regard to the triple relation of Walter, Lizzy and himself. 
" Him whose heart has so often beat with mine in the longing 
which Death could only end for either ! " And to Scott, 
" May God bless him and bless you and me ! " There was no 

1 Life of John Everett Millais. 


doubt that this couple were, both of them, deeply disturbed and 
distressed by the death of that pale, piteous man, and the 
woman at once began to manoeuvre for position, and none of 
them blamed her certainly not Brown. 

Once Gabriel's model now his pupil ; a slight step, but no 
nearer than that, in five years ! 

Living in rooms by herself, spending the rest of her time 
in the company of one man, closeted with him alone for hours, 
for days, for nights, using his chambers when he was away . . . 
sleeping in his bed . . . yet unable to point to a ring on her third 
finger, she had every excuse for seeking to get the situation 
regularised and for using Walter Deverell in the assault on 
Gabriel's emotions. 

The long sheets of blue post with their clauses and erasures 
were stamped with a new morbidity: full of talk of " her ghostly 
connections " that was to distress Acland and Ruskin so deeply. 

Unsummoned, he returned to me, 

The great strong heart that loved me so. 

Nay, but summoned, he did not come. The Sid was to be seen 
constantly at The Tables, her long white hands posed on the 
shining mahogany and her chin upturned in the intense yearning 
for spiritual communion, now at the house of the Howitts', now 
at Home's Seances in Sloane Street and elsewhere. But she 
never " got " him : she knew she never would, except through 
her own death. 

Soon I'll return to thee 

Hopeful and brave 
When the dead leaves 

Blow over thy grave. 

Soon must I leave thee 

This sweet summer tide. 
That other is waiting 

To claim his pale bride. 1 

He wasn't, that was the worst of it. 

A duel, silent but to the death began, between these two. As 
a means to the end, perhaps unconsciously, she encouraged 
Rossetti's complex, reading up Dante, adapting her appearance 
to mediaeval standards in the house, that is. In those days even 
Gabriel, so frowsty at home, would have been q-uite upset at 
seeing a lady without gloves in the street. She walked herself 

1 Rossetti, Evelyn Waugh. 

6 9 

sick, she got her feet wet, she sat till she dropped, she missed her 
meals, she asked nothing in return except marriage ; she yielded 
everything (except that which mediaeval romancers call la chose). 
And Gabriel Rossetti wanted that from a woman among other 
things. Her Victorian airs, her mediaeval rigours stimulated 
his lazy libertinism j he thought only of abolishing so much 
pride ! 

Strong in her carefully held virginity, tempting in her rose- 
white purity, the English girl was not afraid to be alone day in, 
day out, with this imperious, hot-blooded Italian. That long, 
proud neck of hers, that tall, high-breasted figure, those cheerless 
eyes made for chastity, those carefully careless bandeaux of golden 
hair, like the nymph's " unloosened zone," suggesting uses other 
than art to which beauty could be put. . . . 

But so cruel, this meek unconscious dove ! Her attitude, like 
that of the mediaeval ladies, of whom she read with Gabriel, 
towards their lovers withholding le don de V amour euse merci, 
but condescending to play with them, placing them in ridiculous 
positions, exchanging clothes and personalities with their waiting- 
maids, getting them ducked in ponds or beaten with rods, adopt 
ing, according to mediaeval chroniclers, even more vulgar ex 
pedients, hiding them in cellars or up chimneys to be discovered 
there by irate husbands and given over before their eyes to the 
coarsest of revenges. . . . Or, like the high-born damsel of whom 
Brant6me tells us, who had her lover imprisoned and once a day 
visited him, lazily undressing herself before the bars of his cage. 

Dante never possessed the Florentine; perhaps he never 
wanted to, but the constant companionship of one who had some 
of the sensuality of the consumptive, ill, but beautiful and 
desirable, was exacerbating to nerves that surrender might have 
assuaged and set the mind of the artist free, letting him make 
of her the spaniel he could kick instead of the Blue Bird he could 
not snare. His brusqueries, even brutalities, were sign of 
nervous disarray when she was present, the revolt of him who 
was used to sex-submission. . . . 

" My mind and my feelings are my own . . ." 

And^ my body too ! Such obstinacy in withdrawal annoyed 
and stimulated ; brought out some sort of Sadie twist in him 
and drove him to reprisals. To her, who did as Patmore says all 
women may, " on her sweet self set her own price/' she denied 
the gift within her provenance. 

He was starving her out, wilfully, perhaps? The idea of 


downing so much pride possessed him until he actually came to 
want her because she was recalcitrant. 

And her rigours paved the way for Annie Miller and Fanny. 


It was reserved for William Allingham to drive Rossetti into 
the formal engagement to which his friends had almost ceased 
to look forward. 

In February of this year he gave up his post in the Customs and 
came to London to make a living by literature. He had secured 
work on Household Words through his friendship with Dickens, 
and Hepworth Dixon of The Aihenawn was well affected towards 
him. Wearing his outlandish blue cloak that matched his eyes 
he secured a room in Southampton Row, left a note at Rossetti' s 
and, on his return, found an invitation from him to Chatham 
Place that evening saying that the writer had not slept for nights 
and that Lizzy was rather bad again. 

It was a man's party Stephens, Hannay, Patmore, Halliday, 
but not Millais " out of the way, love-making." There was 
George Price Boyce, an architect who had just become a land 
scape painter, Whitley Stokes, C.I.E., LL.D., a Celtic scholar, 
George Sala, a journalist, and Cayley, Christina's admirer and 
William, of course. There was whisky-punch, oysters and tea 
and smell the river was getting more and more objectionable. 
The last guest did not clear off till two, and then the host, in 
his horror of being left alone, offered to see Allingham home. 
Noting, counting carefully as usual the " forlorn " women in 
the Strand, they came to his rooms and for a long time stood 
together at the window watching the blue stars going in and 
the dawn coming up under a thick stretch of reddish-brown 
cloud till in the clear soft light the outlines of the Lombardy 
poplar just in front were made out and Rossetti, with a 
deep blowing sigh, went back (he said) to paint all night when 
there was no night left forgetting to shut the house door 
behind him ! 

After that they were together for the greater part of each day 
Allingham and Gabriel and Boyce (a very nice fellow), visiting 
divers places of amusement. The Crystal Palace, in its new home 
at Sydenham paint-pots still about and workmen daubing it red 
and blue on a sort of Alhambra model Regent's Park, to watch 
the water- fowl rushing about in the kindly air ; Rossetti nervous, 

making patterns in the gravel all the way with the point of his 
umbrella. They dined at a new place Rossetti had found in 
Bankside, Southon's, where a " cordial Stunner " waited, and 
supped at another chop-house where there was a " Belle (pas) 
Sauvage " with whom Gabriel chose to impute a flirtation to 

On St. Patrick's Day, the sun setting as a red globe as they 
hung over the Bridge, Gabriel took him across it into Southwark 
to show him some old Chaucerian houses, and to where Lizzy's 
people lived in the bad street " full of Broom Men and Mum 
pers," whatever they might be. Gabriel showed him the house 
he had never been in it. Once or twice Allingham fancied Gabriel 
was going to begin about her, but he turned off and discussed 

Not until they had been going about together for nearly a week 
did he allude to Lizzy, and that was in connection with his sister's 
poems, which were of course a hundred times better than Lizzy's 
and not all harping on Death and Deverell. 

Allingham had been to tea in Albany Street, played chess 
with Gabriel's father and looked over books of cuttings with 
the sisters. He thought Christina pretty but delicate-looking 
though they, none of them, seemed to notice it. He had been 
introduced to a cousin Teodorico with beady black eyes, and 
then he met Miss Sid again, more or less by accident. He ran 
into Gabriel and Hughes in Fleet Street and Gabriel said, walk to 
the Howitts' with them. 

They drove to Albany Street, picked up William and Christina, 
and set out for Highgate. Gabriel, William and Christina were 
respectively twenty-six, twenty-five and twenty-four. William 
was already nearly bald and Gabriel wore a beard. Allingham, 
thirty, a man of the world, was the doyen of the party. 

It was six miles to The Hermitage. They would stay on to 
supper and hoped with luck to catch the last bus home or Miss 
Leigh-Smith might be there and give them a lift in her new 
carriage with india-rubber wheels. All except carriage folk in 
those days were fain to use the new omnibuses x that lumbered 
along the roads like rocking lilies in a storm, piloting " to 

1 some 

With richest purple, some are blue 
As skies that tempt the swallows back 
. . . some barred with black 
And yellow, like the April bees. . . . 


happy homes by Heath and Hill, by Park or Grove," the artistic 
and literary fraternity. Rossetti's little life was rounded by 
buses and Swinburne's, better off, by cabs. 

Past the barracks, out of their own street by the York and 
Albany, Park Street, then as now the street of curios, and along 
the High Street of Camden Town that ran at the back of Number 
Thirty- eight, whose garden wall the boys had many a time shinned 
over to go to the play. After Mornington Crescent the road was 
bordered on both sides by houses with gardens and wicket gates 
as far as Mother Red Cap Mother Damnable painted on the 
sign dangling in the wind over the inn yard with its grey wooden 
benches shaped like old men's jaws. Then fields where cows 
were grazing in meadows, both sides of the road all along to 
Kentish Town, and it was good until they came to where the 
new road to Holloway forked off, turning westwards at St. John's 
Chapel in Green Street, low-lying, and at Carker's Lane the 
Fleet River that rises in the Hampstead hills (" and comes out by 
my place underground, poor thing ! " Gabriel said), and crosses 
the road to lose itself in the watery meadows on the right. A 
few handsome houses on the one side and on the other farms and 
fields with cows looking like swollen mushrooms feeding, and the 
maid that milked them standing beside a not too common 
sight nowadays. 

Christina was hampered, like any mediaeval lady in hennin and 
surcoat, by her five full-starched petticoats the Pre-Raphaelite 
women refused to adopt the light, helpful, steel-frame that 
Eugenie had just brought in and her flapping straw hat with 
strings that would come untied. At last they came to the three 
ponds lying in the hollow at the bottom of West Hill, belted by 
trees new-covered with keys of pale green, shining in the sunset 
glow. The sun was glinting on the diamonded panes of The 
Hermitage, what you could see of them for the ivy and wistaria, 
the creepers rooted in pots on the verandah climbing up to meet 
the verdure on the roof. And Mrs. Howitt and Anna Mary were 
sitting on the lawn with Professor de Morgan, Mr. Atkinson of 
Ambleside and a tall young lady who rose and sat down again as 
if weary when she missed the effusive greeting which Christina 
Rossetti, tired as she was, took care not to give her. 

Though Anna Mary Howitt, subjugated, never took her eyes 
off her, between Lizzy and the sister of Gabriel waved all the 
trees of the forest of Broceliaunde and the waters of No Man's 
Land ran between. Always the poet had to think of this woman 


in terms of romance a Vivien, a Swan Maiden, a Banshee that 
Gabriel had bought or caught and carried home to bide miserably 
awhile among men. One day she would go " in a waff " back to 
her own people ! Gabriel would never be able to keep her, she 
was not really for him. . . . Would he care ? There was no 
knowing. No one knew. 


It was over four years since Allingham had set eyes on the 
milliner's girl out of Cranbourn Alley, whom Rossetti's friends 
called grandiloquently " The Sid," and Rossetti, familiarly, 
"Guggums." (He had always been " Gug.") She had, he 
remembered, been rosy and slightly freckled. Some of the 
colour and all the freckles were gone now. She Was terribly thin, 
her shoulders supported her brown braided, canezou jacket as if 
they had been two of the pegs that they hung the linen on to dry 
in the yard at home. If it had not been for her hair, bright, 
springing, vital as ever, he thought he would not have known 

He could not remember ever having heard her speak and he 
did not, in the welter of literary and artistic conversation that 
always prevailed when the two Rossettis were present, hear her 
voice now, but he had a queer feeling that she might easily be 
talking and he not hear ... a voice behind glass or under water, 
notes of queer stifled woe such as might rise from one of those 
patches of blood on Elfin Mere after the Maids had dis 
appeared. . . . 

The talk might have interested her, since, as he heard, she had 
recently taken up art. In that month of reaping, for painters, 
of the entire year's harvest now being prepared for the assessment 
of the Royal Academy and the verdict of the terrible Tutor of 
Art, Ruskin, no one in these circles talked of anything but prices 
and reviews, critics and editors, artists' hopes, and such moral 
impedimenta in their lives as in a Victorian age, might prevent 
the fulfilment of those hopes. A crim. con., a running-away would 
easily dash a man's prospects. 

Millais, returned from Scotland, with his thumbnail badly 
crushed, making a bridge of stones over the Finlass for Mrs. 
Ruskin to walk over, was supposed to be at work on his portrait 
of Ruskin for the R.A., but no one had seen him or it. Rossetti 
had sent nothing in. Holman Hunt was still abroad, but The 


Light was ready and The Awakened Conscience, a subject slightly- 
novel. But he would not be back to hear the critics on it. 

Of the latter Allingham was already one and petted accordingly. 
Did he write that nice notice of Anna Mary's picture in the 
Portland Gallery? No, alas; but he had become a buyer and 
had paid George Price Boyce ten pounds for a small water-colour. 

He did not tell them, but he had met Millais a night or two 
ago and had walked back to Gower Street with him to see the 
portrait, begun last year at Glenfinlas, of a thin, spare gentleman 
in a coat by Stultz the one he had ordered to give his Edinburgh 
Lectures in standing astride a small, rough, rock-bedded rivulet 
in the attitude of one just about to enter a drawing-room. . . . 
Cold, cold the blue tie, the grey suit, the gleams over the stream, 
the grey clouds at the back rolling over Ben Ledi. Allingham 
was no gossip but he had a touch of second sight, he noticed that 
people cut him short the moment he began to talk about Millais. 
Millais was in mischief! The picture was not going to get itself 

He asked Miss Siddal to take him a turn and show him Mrs. 
Howitt's flowers. He talked to her, told her what he fancied she 
would like to hear, about his friend Tennyson, the faery man who 
could see moonlight reflected in the eyes of a nightingale and hear 
the tiny shrieking bats in the garden at Montpelier Row, and who 
liked white things white lilac white peacocks. And about 
Ellen Britten, who had been with her at Mrs. Tozer's. He had 
met Ellen ; she was a model too now. And then it was time to 
go and there was no Barbara to drive them home ; and they were 
all to meet at The Princess's to see Miss Cushman on Friday. 

They had missed the yellow bus from the Archway to Victoria 
and had to walk to Mother Red Cap, where Gabriel might pick up 
the one from Finsbury Park. Miss Sid walked between him 
and his brother. Allingham naturally offered his arm to Miss 
Christina, which she accepted. She seemed even more tired than 
the other girl. She told him what Doctor Wilkinson had said 
about Miss Siddal, as reported by Gabriel. It was her spine.^ 
She would be all right if she took care and went on with the' 
codliver oil. 

At The York and Albany they put her into her bus for 
Weymouth Street and Allingham parted with the Rossettis and 
went to his new lodgings in Queen Square. Gabriel had 
asked them all to tea in his studio in Chatham Place on the 
Friday of next week. 




PEOPLE were so nice to Mr. Allingham that he felt 
pretty sure of getting a permanent job in London, 
and then. Good-bye Ballyshannon ! He moved to very 
much better rooms at seventeen shillings a week, with 
the services of a maid. He could give suppers ; fish, oysters, 
washed down with beer and tea and sherry-cobbler dinners of 
cold beef, sausage and chops sent up on hot-water plates, coffee, 
tea, and jam roll (and marmalade for Munro). 

This amiable, sympathetic and cultivated man who hobnobbed 

with established celebrities like Carlyle, Clough, Dickens and 

Thackeray and the interesting Pre-Raphaelite Brethren, and 

wrote a regular newsletter about them all once a week to Mr. and 

Mrs. Browning in Florence, was welcome everywhere. He would 

stroll in the morning into publishers' and editors' offices. He 

would lunch with the Smiths in Blandford Square or with the 

Tom Taylors at Eagle Lodge and take tea with the Carlyles in 

Cheyne Walk or with Tennyson in Lincoln's Inn Fields. He would 

pass through sale-rooms and picture exhibitions, dip into the 

churches of fashionable preachers or into the House when a 

debate was on. And he generally got seats for the Opera, where 

of course he took Gabriel or William. He went with them and 

" Miss Sid " to the play, -balcony stalls even to church, and 

to Gabriel's stiffish parties in Chatham Place fruitless efforts 

to call a desert peace inviting William and his sisters to meet the 

girl they were so afraid of his marrying, and others George Boyce 

who did not like Miss Sid much and would much rather have met 

Annie Miller. They would all consume oysters and drink beer 

and sit by turns on the famous balcony that looked over the river. 

It was very " slow." After a while The Sid would fade quietly 

out of the room, leaving no particular void, and there would be 

a welcome closing up of the family ranks, for Gabriel really loved 

these people though he could not get them to be nice to his 


girl. And later the Rossettis would all walk away in a quiet 
party up Chancery Lane. 

The river steamers " served " Blackfriars, and next day 
Allingham picked up the lovers at Chatham Place and they took 
boat to London Bridge, standing all the way because the steamer 
was crowded, staring up at St. Paul's with its fretwork of scaffold 
ing as they passed, not altogether comfortably; watching the 
officer empowered to board all steamers and arrest for debt, 
recognisable only by the small silver key on his button-hole. And 
then by rail to Greenwich. 

Women, thought Allingham, hate expeditions the leaving 
their base, which may be their throne. All except his great and 
generous Barbara, who dressed for them properly and went out 
hatless, rain or shine, " in the sacred name of pigment.'' But 
Lizzy's kid gloves were soiled before they left the train, the 
braid on the hem of her long dress came unsewn as soon as they 
got out of the station and, by the time they reached the Park 
gates, her hair was really down and not merely arranged to look 
as if it were. 

She had started tired ; Gabriel bored. Allingham noted her 
absence of fellowship, of warmth in speech, her reticence of 
gesture as it were the setting in of some sort of ice-age in a 
woman. . . . Restless without being lively, fidgety without being 
alert, wilful without decision, draggled in mind and body. . . . 
He recalled with an effort the young girl he had seen for the first 
time in Mrs. Tozer's bonnet shop, eyelids then upraised that now 
drooped and, like the long stone slab of a tomb, hid the dull, 
dead, blue eyes. Or the next time, in the garden studio at Kew 
taking off her bonnet with a modest but superb gesture, without 
patting her hair with a sidelong glance at the cracked studio 
glass as most girls would; sweeping up to the estrade like 
" Proud Maisie " she was posing for, fending off the tacit snubs 
of the Misses Maria and Margaretta Deverell. . . . 

Rossetti wanted to see the sun set from the top of Observatory 
Hill. They would sit there awhile and then dine in one of the 
eating-houses by the Park gates or the Pier. Making the pace 
with his " slopperty walk," he kept well in front, trailing his 
umbrella in the sandy soil and humming " a sotto voce defiance of 
the universe," till they came to the platform with seats set, as in 


a theatre in front of the view marshes, houses and sky all of the 
same colour, blue grey, except, in the north, some mysterious, 
equidistant bars of a whiter white than water, more like iron at 
white heat. 

The Blessed Damozel, breathing faintly, her upper lip raised 
in the known poise of pathos and her eyes gone to the back of her 
head, leaned over the iron bar of the railings and wished she were 
on earth having tea in one of the kiosks she had noticed long ago 
coming up the hill, when her spirit was younger. But Gabriel 
was pouring into her ears poetic accounts of what she was seeing 
before her London, stretched out to the skyline, and splaying 
out like a full-bellied snake, with the Isle of Dogs lying snared in 
its coils the River that served it. Those mathematical bars on 
the north represented the great chain of Docks West India, 
East India. . . . Where was the sea ? She had never seen the 
sea ! Rossetti would show it to her some day. 

Allingham, who knew that women want their tea, persuaded 
Gabriel to let them go back into the town without trying to find 
the place where Brown's Aunt Cooper had lived, somewhere 
half-way down the hill. 

Gabriel was annoyed and ceased to exercise his well-known 
charm. He wanted something more substantial than tea, but 
Allingham persuaded him to enter the first shop that came. 
Up wide wooden stairs, into a low-ceiled room where there was 
a window seat with geraniums behind it and a table with a clean 
cloth on it and a dusty cruet. They got beer and chops and 
Allingham read them his latest, the MS. of which he happened 
to have in his pocket, and Gabriel was so nice and flattering about 
it 1 that he won the poet to himself again. 

At London Bridge Miss Sid was put into her bus for Weymouth 
Street. She was not one of those that kiss in the street, but 
Allingham fancied she was cross with Gabriel, about a girl called 
Annie Miller, of whom she had spoken to him once or twice. 
Miller was her name, but people said she had Italian blood in 
her. Her father was a carpenter in Justice Walk, between 
Lawrence Street and Church Street, just behind where Mr. 
Hunt lived. He had picked her up, much as Gabriel had Lizzy. 
Like Lizzy, Annie was respectable, and " good-hearted, with the 
makings of an excellent woman in her." Hunt had taught her 
to speak correctly and paid for her lessons in dancing and de 
portment. The idea, nebulous at first, of training her to be his 
1 He took no interest at all in the sea or ships, so it was very nice of him. 


wife grew stronger ; by the time he left for the East it was 
understood that he looked forward to finding Annie " finished " 
and fit to be Mrs. Hunt when he came back. 

Mr. Hunt's seriousness rather bored Miss Miller, but she had 
been sensible enough or her father for her to accept his 
kindness and profit by it, especially the dancing. She lived near 
enough to Cremorne to have opportunities for frequent practice 
of the art with George Boyce and Frederic Stephens and others : 
many a time she and Gabriel would go to Highbury Barn and 
The Gun Tavern together. 

The jolly Annie was merely a pawn in the game of checkmate 
which the best of friends will occasionally play with one another. 
Rossetti was getting back on Hunt " He took my subject and 
I'm taking his model, 3 ' he had said jauntily to Allingham. 


Allingham was quite rude next day when he went to breakfast 
with his friend and found him in his bedroom doctoring himself 
" You and your pills ! " Miss Leigh-Smith and Miss Howitt 
were in the next room looking at Lizzy's portrait of herself. 
After breakfast they were all to go to Margaret Street to see 
Dyce's " window " in Mr. Hope's new church then to Covent 
Garden for tulips. 

Mr. Allingham thought he would consult Barbara about Miss 
Siddal, since she was by way of championing and befriending 
Woman. She had done nothing much as yet except set up a 
High School for Girls at sixpence a week, where witty Emily 
Davies taught and Marian Evans, assistant editor of The West 
minster Review, as well as Barbara's Aunt Julia and pretty Bessie 
Parkes. But it was more a lark than anything else. The field 
in the fens near Girton was still under tillage, the Monster 
Petition not presented : the Women's Property Act, Divorce 
Law Reform and Votes for Women x still slumbered in the 
bosoms in those days ladies had bosoms but no heads, to keep 
ideas in of the so-called Fair Sex, stultified in what Barbara 
called their " culpable resignation to circumstances." The 
circumstances of this trio were easy ; they made their sorties into 

1 " We shall get the Vote after I am dead and 7011 will go to the Poll in /our 
winding sheet," said Emily Davies, her elder, to Barbara Bodichon. 

" This mad wicked folly on which my poor feeble sex is bent . . . the subject 
makes the Queen so furious that she cannot contain herself ! " Victoria R. 


life from the shelter of the paternal roof and with the co-operation 
of their elders. Anna Mary's father had just shaken off Quaker 
ism ; Bessie's was Joe Parkes of Birmingham, an active politician 
with Radical sympathies. 1 Barbara's father was blind. 2 Miss 
Leigh-Smith gave herself that licence in her relations with the 
other sex which women, chaperoned by family butlers and private 
broughams, could dare do under Victoria at the cost merely of 
being supposed eccentric. " A jolly fellow " she flirted even " in 
a quite nice way." A Romola much too sensible to waste herself 
on a Tito like Gabriel Rossetti. Though she had never been 
to boarding school, she was not exempt from the cloistered 
girl's foible of romantic passion for members of her own sex, 
for Emily Davies and Miss Betham-Edwards and Mrs. Beecher 
Stowe and Anna Mary's rich friend Miss Coutts up the hill. 
There was also Dinah Mulock the novelist, and there had 
been Adelaide Anne Procter the poetess, mourned by Barbara 
and Bessie and Anna Mary like a lover. There was Charlotte 
Cushman with her deep contralto voice, called Captain Charlotte 
because of that and because she chose to play Romeo and 
Hamlet. And her more feminine sister Susan, whom a man 
had dared to desert, and Miss Eliza Cook, who dressed like a man 
down to her waist and had her hair cut short. 3 

But Bessie Parkes " Bessie the Brick " handsome, dashing 
and gay, dressed in the height of the fashion. 

Anna Mary Howitt was the least impressive of the three, the 
only one with the true artistic temperament. 4 


Barbara Leigh-Smith liked Gabriel, but not this Pre-Raphael- 
itism which, on the face of it, reminded her, a would-be reformer 

1 Her mother a daughter of Joseph Priestley, the discoverer of oxygen. 

2 His domestic relations were unconventional and shocking to his brother-in-law. 
Florence was not as a child allowed to play with Barbara and Nanny. But Aunt 
Julia was fascinated by the beauty and cleverness of these two daughters of Uncle 
Benjamin, the pariah. Life of Florence Nightingale, I. B. O'Malley. 

3 This style created in Society at this time as deep, if less costly, a scandal as the 
cropped locks of Joan of Arc, hidden by no hennin, which deeply shocking her judges, 
perhaps cost her her life ? 

4 She gave up painting because the great Critic of All said such severe things 
about her work, forcing her, so her mother said, " to withdraw from the practice of 
the fine arts," and adopt the other profession of marriage. Ruskin was never very 
kind to women beginners ; he nearly estopped Christina Rossetti from being a 


of the status of her sex, of the mental starvation undergone 
by Woman in mediaeval days ; her disgustingly inferior position 
excepting during those few fleeting years when she is man's 
delight and may command him. Look, she said, at the faces of 
the women in the pictures these young fellows admired the tight 
waists, the overloaded heads that must have ached so frequently, 
the lined foreheads, the pinched mouths, the sly slanting eyes, 
boding, biding, of the oppressed slave, of Lucrezia Borgia ever 
lastingly brushing and sunning her golden hair its abundance 
the sign of imbecility, Doctor Elliotson said, so much taken from 
her brains perfectly aware of what her brothers were up to but 
powerless, or unwilling, to prevent them. 

Chattels, these ladies, inured to death and horror, with iron 
nerves if they possessed them at all. It is not so much the 
iron nerve as the sleeping one that avails the woman who never 
knows at any time of day if she may not be burned for a witch, 
have her lover's heart served up to her on a platter by a jealous 
husband, or her baby's brains dashed out on the castle stones by 
the other knight who has " downed " him. 

Appearing to suffer from indigestion, looking too ill to be really 
pretty, Barbara had observed this Miss Siddall at The Hermitage. 
But she had never asked Mr. Rossetti to bring her to Blandford 
Square. She would now. The girl had nice manners, as good 
as Gabriel's. His were the result, she supposed, of his mother's 
training, and she had heard that the two governess sisters were 
very nice too. 

The boys called her, among other sobriquets, " The Countess," 
but she did not, to Barbara's thinking, look in the least like one. 
Just a good, simple sort of person ! Was there not some talk of 
Gabriel Rossetti's marrying her ? That did not strike Miss Leigh- 
Smith as unsuitable. Artists painted where they loved and loved 
where they painted, and seldom married born ladies not even 
Academicians. Look at Mrs. Redgrave and Mrs. Armitage and 
Mrs. Hart ; listen to the " malaprops " of Mrs. Goodall and Mrs. 
Stacy Marks ! As to Miss Siddall, she had heard something of 
noble ancestry on the father's side tombs in a churchyard in the 
Midlands and armorial bearings sported; but the mother had 
been a housemaid, hadn't she ? She did not know of Lizzy's 
occupying Gabriel's rooms while he was away in Newcastle, but 
if she had she would not have been shocked Bohemians cannot 
afford to take this or that social lapse into account. 

Allingham spoke long and passionately of Miss Siddal's life as 
G 8r 

present model and ex-milliner and of how she had got ill in the 
exercise of both jobs, the long hours sitting in some constrained 
position for the one ; the stuffy rooms, predisposing to phthisis, 
in the other. The hours at Mrs. Tozer's, so Ellen Britten had 
told Allingham, were terrific. In the Season the girls were often 
up all night. And artists had no mercy where a pose was con 
cerned Allingham told her the romantic story of the bath in 
Gower Street. " Too bad," Miss Leigh-Smith had said. Girls 
should be taught the rules of health ; but it was actually con 
tended by men, probably, with their queer fetish of female 
delicacy that " women should know as little as possible about 
that exceedingly delicate subject." 1 

Yes, she would certainly see Miss Siddall. She might go to 
her Cousin Florence's Home for the Care of Gentlewomen in 
Sickness in Upper Harley Street. Bessie would see about it. 

Allingham felt pretty sure that Miss Sid would refuse to leave 
London with Annie Miller about ; but he did not dare tell this 
to the Lady Bountiful of Blandford Square, for health meant 
more than hearts to her. With Miss Siddal's marital problem 
she would have dealt like the kind mistress who makes it her 
business to bring the recalcitrant sweetheart of a servant-girl to 
the point. 

Nor could the relations of Rossetti and his model be fully dis 
cussed between a chaste Irishman and an emancipated Victorian 
maiden. Barbara knew of no particular reason why Gabriel 
should marry Lizzy unless he wanted to ; if he did, why not ? 
Did he actually owe her marriage ? William Allingham thought 
so and attributed the girPs state of health largely to suspense 
and dread of another woman's taking her place. He had run 
into that Annie Miller yesterday when he went to Chatham 
Place for his sitting which Gabriel had forgotten. They were 
eating chops and sausages. They made him go with them to 
Madame Tussaud's. Annie did not particularly want to go 
Rossetti did. Leaden-footed, the confidant padded about w,ith 
the buxom girl in the Chamber of Horrors while Gabriel, gloating 
on the effect of the calm, rosy, murderers' faces shining like turnip 
lanterns in the dimness, seemed unaffected by the dreary airs of 
death down here that made Allingham so uncomfortable. And 

1 We never do hear what exactly was the matter with Lizzy. Probably 
Doctor Wilkinson sent her out of the room while he made his report to Mrs. 
Brown, who was hardly capable of grasping its import and, if she had, less from 
reticence than modesty, would not have enlarged upon it. 


Annie was dying to get upstairs to the Kings and Queens, to the 
lifelike old Quaker gentleman whom you jostle as you go by, the 
baby in the cradle and the lady in the glass case whose pneumatic 
bosom goes softly up and down under her laces. . . , 

No harm in either of them ! Gabriel was offhand, indifferent 
and absorbed : Annie, quiet, proper and sensible ; but he could 
not help thinking all the time of the lonely girl in Weymouth 
Street, and when they parted, Gabriel and Annie going in the 
direction of Piccadilly to dance he, in low spirits, fared 
home to his lodgings. 


Things have a way of all coming at once. It had been Fine 
since the ist and Very Fine since the 5th. The I3th of April 
turned out to be the finest day of all; the day of Supreme 
Moments, of the pulling of the strings of shower-baths, affecting 
deeply the fortunes of Gabriel and Lizzy and of, perhaps, a 
greater than they. William Allingham called on several people, 
but no one was at home neither Rossetti, with whom he had 
an appointment, not Routledge, the publisher of whom he had 
begged one. So he drifted where everyone in the set did drift 
when at a loose end, to The Hermitage, and Mary Howitt took 
him to the Gillies' to supper. They had all been discussing the 
health of Miss Siddall with Margaret Gillies and Doctor South- 
wood Smith and the u hanging off " of Gabriel. Allingham loved 
the villain in this piece and, though Miss Siddal's affairs were 
properly none of his, he found himself telling Anna what he had 
not quite liked to tell Barbara. 

Walking down the hill from Hampstead, her arm tucked in his, 
his other arm holding her basket passing in and out of alternate 
patches of light and dark that the shadows of delicately leaved, 
swaying boughs made over the road, glistening whitely with 
quartz ; agonised into dull blue here and there from the locked 
wheels of carts grinding in their slippers down the hill, he bade 
her notice this and the Pre-Raphaelite truth of Gabriel's descrip 
tion of just such a night, in the poem he had read aloud to them all 
the other day, and how, when the wind blew this way and that, 

All the leaf shadows at a breath 
Shrank in the road. . . . 

(The rhyme, of course, was Death.} Just as the wind of the spirit 
will make portentous the shadows of our imaginings, distorting 


them, magnifying them one minute and reducing them to nothing 
the next. How wonderful their dear Gabriel was ! Why, 
when he could notice little things like that, was he so stupid and 
tactless with his women ? Tiring them, chivying them, worrying 
their lives out. Neglecting, for a beautiful minx like Annie 
Miller, a woman quite as beautiful, and worth a hundred of her. 
Anna Mary did not seem to have heard of Annie Miller. She 
questioned him. Then he must not mention it to anybody 
else, but she really must tell him Miss Siddal could not possibly 
mind his knowing Gabriel had proposed, long ago and she had 
accepted him. The reason she had not announced the engage 
ment was because of the opposition of her family. Lizzy's 
mother was most particular with her daughters and would not 
approve of Lizzy marrying an artist ; they were always so impro 
vident to say nothing worse. Did he know that she was a 
Sidal of Hope ? And her father descended from a family that 
went back to the fourteenth century and had been knights and 
had had a coat of arms ? Anna Mary's father, who travelled all 
over the country doing those Annuals, writing up various places 
he went to, had been there and seen the names on the big tombs 
in the churchyard at the place where the family had lived in their 
heyday. He had had occasion to look up some papers about it 
in his capacity of antiquary. 

Mr. Allingham went home conscious that he might have made 
mischief; but had forgotten about it next time he went to 
Chatham Place for a sitting. No one was there, but he waited 
and, presently, Gabriel and William came in together, tremen 
dously excited about something that had happened yesterday. 
The ball was at Gabriel's feet and no one rejoiced more than his 

McCracken had sent Dante drawing the Angel to the great critic 
to look at, and Ruskin had written the painter " an incredible 
letter," was " his respectfully " wanting to call and yesterday 
he had called ! " Seems in a mood to make my fortune ! " 
Rossetti did not know it, but one of the Brethren, the one from 
whom he least deserved it, had been working for him. The 
P.R.B., criticising, teasing, lampooning, abusing I each other like 

1 Rossetti; in a lazy sort of temper, would actually call Millais " The Prince of 

.From a photograph 

pickpockets, strove when the good name or prosperity of a 
member of the band was concerned, to maintain complete 
solidarity. Hunt, meeting Ruskin in Florence on his way out to 
the Holy Land, was at pains to interest the great critic in the 
work of his dear Gabriel. He would have done it all the same 
even had he known of the visits to Chatham Place, the excursions, 
the suppers when her lieges drank out of complacent Annie's 
shoe. And one may set against this Rossetti's heartfelt con 
gratulations on 'The Light in letters to all his friends, outdoing 
the very critics in its praise. 


Ruskin had run in on his way back from King's Cross, where 
he had been seeing his young wife off on a visit to her parents in 
Scotland, He himself had just returned from abroad and had 
been obliged to sleep at Denmark Hill, as one of her letters told 
him that the bed was broken and must be mended before his 
return and, meanwhile, she would go home for a bit. 1 

John Hobbes, attending to the luggage there was a good 
deal for the stay of a fortnight or so did not realise that 
this was a supreme moment in the careers of these two persons. 
They did not kiss. There had been a wrangle but there were 
often wrangles between them and she had said cutting things, 
as usual. Mr. Ruskin was in a dream, as usual, and took no 
notice of them. Just as the train moved out of the station he 
took out his purse and tossed it into her lap he wasn't sure if she 
would have enough for flies and porters at Perth. . . . 


" My plans are made, and it would take a cleverer man than 
John Ruskin to upset them now ! " 

This is what John Hobbes heard on that fourteenth day of 
April as he stood attentive at the door of the railway carriage, 
a sentence delivered with clear precision of utterance by Mrs. 
Ruskin. The two Johns, accustomed to her Scotch habit of 
dramatic over-emphasis, did not take much note of it at the time. 

Yet it meant Doctors' Commons and a Jury of Matrons, a 

1 He was never to see her again except among the audience at his lectures, 
sitting beside her friend the wife of the President of the Royal Academy, crabbing 
him. She had Lady Eastlake's sympathy and that of the world in general. But 
not perhaps that of John Hobbes ! As valets will, he knew a lot. 


parting and a re-marriage. All this was behind Patmore's 
babblement and Millais' distraction and failure to have the 
Ruskin portrait ready. She was going to get a divorce, so Jane 
Carlyle was telling everybody. When the case came on, Hobbes 
was out of England. His evidence might have helped John 
Ruskin had he indeed desired to be helped ? But he was letting 
it all go. 

At any rate, an action was raised by Euphemia Gray or 
Grey falsely called Ruskin : the marriage was declared null 
and void from the beginning by reason of the impotence of 
the said John Ruskin, by sentence of the Commissory Court of 
Surrey in the Diocese of Winchester. 


John Ruskin was a Scotsman ; Euphemia Gray was his cousin. 
Both of them legatees of the ferocities of the Covenant and 
with more than " something of the Shorter Catechist " in them. 
She came from a schoolroom full of gay growing girls at Bowers- 
well ; the household at Denmark Hill was composed of four 
persons who never laughed. The master of the house, John James 
Ruskin l (of Ruskin, Telford and Domecq), with his queer arched 
eyebrows, his mouth with full curves like that of John Keats, 
had more of the artist in him than his wife or his son. The 
mistress, his cousin Margaret, whom he had married for love, with 
her narrow, peering, heavy-lidded eyes, ruined before their time 
with fine needlework, her forward-poking, impertinent mouth, 
was thirty-seven when her son was born, on a wooden bedstead 
which broke beds had a way of breaking in this manage for her 
muscles were by then as rigid as her tenets. She held her child's 
finger in the flame of a candle " to remember him " not to tell 
lies, she whipped him with her slipper to save her own hand 
" what for should she be hurt when she had done nothing wrong ? " 
^ The boy never did lie, but he saw the flame of that candle in 
his mother's eyes until she died. 

And after that and the death of another member of the 
family, Anne Strahan, who got in at the window and found 
the old Master, her father, hanging dead inside, and knew all 
about the ghosts of Bowerswell where he and she had lived, 
John was rudderless, except for the wooden concepts of morality 
these women had given him, wedged into his consciousness, 

1 He was delicate and always wore a truss. 


adapted somehow to circumstances by his immense and cunning 

He was born under Aquarius ;* Rossetti one can give a pretty 
good guess under Scorpio, with Herschel, the baleful star for 
artist-natures, in the ascendant. Between Ruskin who loved 
blue and Rossetti who loved red, 2 between the medusa and the 
salamander, the aquamarine and the alexandrite, the Scotchman 
and the Southron, the ascetic and the man of temperament who, 
with colour, had made himself a sort of soul (as Marion De Lorme 
with love, a virginity), gulfs for ever yawned. For to Rossetti 
" the colour of a picture is its physiognomy, the body of its life ! " 
But Ruskin's God could be rendered in stone. He seemed to 
forget that abbey walls were only a surface on which colour was 
laid and would have had little use for either a painted cathedral 
or a tinted statue. He loved Light fer se ; concerned with the 
form of things and the way Light took them, fell on them, was 
abstracted from them duly oppressed by the Shadow of the 
Cross that lay athwart the world. Rossetti, on the contrary, 
loved a rich, fluttering gloom, such as savages know who cluster 
nightly round a camp fire, illumining but a little way along the 
low, woody arcades, fitfully shining on the boughs of the trees 
near by, making the twigs of the undergrowth shine like golden 
wire a room full of furniture as opposed to the empty sheen of 
Alpine snows. 

Both men were full generous. They had that in common. 
Rossetti out of laisser oiler and caprice, while Ruskin was we 
have it from himself " nearly as just as it is possible for a man 
to be, in this world." Both were frank and subtle ; canny and 
unpractical at the same time. Than Ruskin's infolded nature, 
Rossetti's was infinitely less complicated, and Ruskin perhaps 
more simple because more highly educated than Rossetti. 
Artists are nearer the savage, to whom pictorial comes more 
naturally than literary, representation. They never cared for 
each other. Rossetti never troubled to read a line of Ruskin 
and, " Artists are very like pigs, so far as I know them," Ruskin 
wrote to Doctor Acland after his protg had been more than 
usually trying. 

1 At half-past seven in the morning. The painter Varley cast his horoscope. 
The ages of 14, 18 and 21 were especially fatal to him. The Adele Domecq 
disappointment filled one date. 

2 He was a Jacobite simply because the Hanoverians had taken not only the azure 
out of the Garter but the vermilion out of the Royal Standard. 




WILLIAM ROSSETTI did not set eyes on his brother's 
patron until November of this year, and then he only 
formed part of Raskin's audience at a lecture. Miss 
SiddaPs name had not been mentioned. Gabriel was 
afraid of putting forward too much at once and frightening away 
Ruskin, who really seemed to be far less disagreeable than he had 
been led to suppose. Though Hunt and Collins had read his 
books Rossetti had not, nor intended to do so. He regarded the 
poor Professor merely as a milch cow, 1 appointed by Providence 
to support and maintain the artist who was lucky enough to get 
hold of him, and a plaguey nuisance unless he was on your side. 

The brothers had raced off to Islington to tell Hannay of 
Ruskin's call and promised beneficence and it never rains in 
Bohemia but it pours something was being done for Miss 
Siddal too. There had been a meeting at Poets 5 Corner and 
Miss Leigh-Smith had taken the girl home to lunch, where she 
happened to meet Doctor Wilkinson again, in a non-professional 
way. He wanted her to go and live awhile in Brompton where 
the air is good for consumptives; Barbara was firm for her 
Cousin Florence's place in the New Road. But Bessie Parkes, 
seeing Miss Siddal's fear of being shut up in London, suggested 
the seaside. She knew of some lodgings at Hastings both cheap 
and nice, high up on the hill where she would get plenty of air. 

Mr. Allingham heard all this when he went to Chatham Place 
to sit for his portrait. Miss Siddal was to be rushed off to 
Hastings at once; Gabriel to take her down and return on 
Monday to dine with Ruskin at Denmark Hill and make the 

1 Ruskin's father, apart from maintaining him, was in the habit of placing fifteen 
hundred pounds a year at his son's disposal, besides buying him a Turner now and 
then, and dying reproached himself for not having bought him more. 

John James Ruskin left a hundred and twenty thousand pounds, leaseholds and 
freeholds and pictures valued at ten thousand. Ninety-seven thousand pounds had 
been settled on Erne, on which she drew interest until her death. John Ruskin 
never thought of taking it away from her. Perhaps, as Howell said, he could not ? 


acquaintance of his father and mother. Young Mrs. Rusldn he 
would not see : the bed at Herne Hill was mended, but she was 
still away and her servants on board wages. 

It seemed as if everything was going right. Barbara, Bessie 
and Anna Mary were " very thick " with Lizzy, Doctor Wilkinson 
" enraptured with the dear " and Ruskin prepared to worship 
her. Gabriel meant to take some of her drawings to Denmark Hill 
to show him. What she needed was encouragement ; she was so 
deprecating about her work that without it she would give up 
Art entirely a thousand pities ! 

Then Annie Miller, healthy, vulgar and cheerful, sauntered 
in as if the whole place belonged to her. Gabriel turned her 
over to Allingham ; his mind was full of Ruskin and a little of 
Lizzy and he was off to the station to meet her and " Bessie the 
Brick," who was going with them as far as Hastings to look after 
the invalid as a man could not, starting again by slow train to get 
back to Robertsbridge for Scalands. Gabriel promised to meet 
Allingham on Monday at Southon's and they would chaff the 
Cordial Stunner as usual, and he would tell him all about Hastings 
and Denmark Hill. 


Gabriel took a single for Lizzy and a return for himself, which 
cost one pound Second Class : he had borrowed the money from 
Allingham and a portmanteau from Aunt Charlotte. The two 
Cockneys in corner seats looked out of the paneless window all 
the way as the train sped through the smiling champaign. 
Gabriel knew the English country slightly, having been twice to 
the Scotts' in the North and once to Sevenoaks. But to Lizzy 
it was a revelation. The first weird flash of the sea, still, portent 
ous, a sheet of white enamel spread before her eyes instead of the 
grey electro-plate of the river at home the fresh smell. . . . 

And, suddenly, there was the " little, bright, surf-breathing 
town " at their feet. And good, kind, pretty Bessie, who took 
her to her lodgings and put her to bed. That night Gabriel 
slept well and, from his -window in East Parade, saw " the most 
wonderful of earthly sights," the sun rising over the sea. 

Next day Doctor Hailes came in and saw her and gave Gabriel 

the address of a chemist, Mr. Smith of George Street, whom 
Rossetti presently was calling his very good friend. The doctor 
was not sure that he would not move the patient soon to lodgings 
nearer the sea. High Street was apt to be hot at that time of year. 

Number Five was a very old house, on the south side, with a 
garden sloping down to the stream a trickle of water was all 
that was left of the great bight running inland between East and 
West Hill, navigable once for Roman triremes. The front of the 
house on the street was broad and low. It had a sloping roof of 
grey stone, out of all proportion in extent to the house face. A 
man walked about on it as if it were a garden, mending the 
stone slats. The rooms and the hall were papered the same, like 
a maid's faded cotton frock with the ghostly flowers of a hundred 
springs agone, meandering on a pale dun ground. On a flap 
shelf in the hall was a stack of empty medicine bottles Mrs. 
Elphick's husband was an invalid and his room and hers were on 
the right as you went in, and he never came out of them. The 
staircase stopped at the next floor where the bedrooms were 
two only and access to it was through a door which was shut 
as a rule, for it led to the attic where no one slept now : it was 
haunted so badly in Mrs. Stanforth's time by an old man whom 
no one ever saw but whose footsteps followed one upstairs. 
Mrs. Stanforth had had to leave and all her tenants had done the 
same, Mrs. Elphick said, until she enclosed the staircase in 
" stoothing " and kept the door at the foot of it closed. It was 
only left undone now for the man who was mending the roof. 

But the lady said she didn't in the least mind meeting a ghost. 1 
Well then, there was another a woman who haunted the lean-to 
wash-house or kitchen it had been all three, but the people 
about here called it the Corpse Hole. It was said that the body 
of a woman had " rested " there one day preparatory to being 
taken away at night and cast into the bourne at the bottom of the 
garden, all a tangle of gnarled roots and Goya-like weeds sprouting 
put of dirty ash-heaps. No one went near if they could help 
it, for they had no idea what might be down there ! Anyway, a 
lot of old, queer, marked stones . . . graves, perhaps ? Gabriel 
said Roman altars, but he did not go to look. What had been 
the wash-house was now the larder, with the overflow from the 
earth closet draining into it under the floor. (The landlady 
always kept charcoal on the shelf to deaden the smell.) 

1 " Meme je le suis" she might have said, like the mysterious guest in the French 
ghost story, and vanished. 

9 o 

From a photograph 

Doctor Hailes said that these ghosts were all smugglers' tricks 
to cover the murder of an accomplice who knew too much, or to 
scare people from noticing what was going on. In all these 
coastal towns, since Napoleon first put England out of bounds, 
smuggling had been the staple industry and the staple pleasure 
too. Behind St. Clement's there were caves, excellent caches 
and the towns-people went there o' nights to dance by candle 
light, and so covered their unlawful operations. The secret 
passage from the inn next door he had never seen nobody ever 
had actually seen such a thing as a secret passage but it was 
supposed to come out at Rockanore, a mile or so away. 

Next day they had Mrs. Elphick in, and she told them of secret 
chambers and hollow walls and floors with movable boards where 
kegs and barrels reposed in rows within an inch of the officer's 
foot while he made his search. And there were double staircases 
in the smallest houses, steep, breakneck, like ladders twisted, and 
lofts with walls that let down so that you could sling a barrel into 
the room below. In one house she knew of there were pillars 
each side of the fireplace that were really cupboards so that the 
master might take out a bottle of spirits when he could trust his 
guests and extra doors for people who were " wanted " to get 
away by, all over the place. She had been to stay once in the house 
opposite and was shown into a bedroom, but, when she opened a 
cupboard door to hang up her cloak, she found a bed of nastur 
tiums at her feet and a garden stretching all the way up the hill, 
so steep that the trees were trained on it as if it was an espalier, 
and anyone could pull himself up by the boughs and keep on 
lying on the ground until he got away. And the raised pave 
ment opposite along as far as the Vicarage underneath it was 
all cellars with doors you couldn't tell from the rest of it, where 
they took things straight off a cart as it passed slowly up the hill 
without stopping, for someone opened it from inside and took the 
barrels in. 

Lizzy let herself laugh. Laughter did not suit her. But 
she was happy and, indeed, now that she had seen this, she would 
never, never go into a hospital, " with no means," as she put it, 
of " keeping herself alive." No, not even Miss Nightingale's. 
"She settled down to water-colours easier to manage in lodgings 
she was not quite strong enough yet to begin her oil picture, 
her magnum opus it was to be. And Anna Mary was due at 
Scalands on Wednesday. 

She and Gabriel took walks never in the direction of St. 

9 1 

Leonards, then a-building long stuccoed terraces and streets, 
scaffolding and dust, deadly for Lizzy but westwards, about the 
fishermen's beach, dotted with net-huts and store-houses, high, 
black-tarred, gaunt, three-storied, built on the pebbles, at whose 
base old Nunky would sit in the sun weaving nets with a giant 
shuttle. His son, drowned in the lifeboat three years ago, had 
chalked his father's nickname on the black beams of the hut and 
it was never allowed to be washed out. And further on to Rock- 
anore at the end of the old town, and up East Hill to see the 
incised stones. Gabriel, writing to Brown, noted things for him 
as a good Pre-Raphaelite should. 




[HAT Sunday in London was fine, remarkably fine, but 
Allingham was uneasy. He wished he had not betrayed 
Gabriel and Annie Miller to Anna Mary. He remem 
bered the way her hand had closed on his arm after he 
had spoken. . . . She might have written and worried Miss 
Siddal about it ? He called at Gower Street, but Millais was, 
of course, at church with his parents. Then he asked himself to 
lunch in Blandford Square ; Miss Siddal was not mentioned ; 
but Anna Mary, he heard, was going down to Hastings early in 
the week to relieve Bessie Parkes. So the poor thing was ill ! 

On Monday about five o'clock he found a note from Gabriel 
shoved in under his door, saying that he would have kept his 
appointment at Southon's only he had lunched with Ruskin late, 
after coming up, and felt very sick. He was going to his people's, 
and if Allingham liked to fetch him thence they might go on 
together to The Hermitage. He had told Ruskin all about " my 
pupil " and " he yearneth." 

Gabriel did not turn up. Nothing from him next day nor 
the day after. Allingham went for a walk and on his return 
found the wretch lying on the sofa, looking as like death as a 
person of his full habit could do, with a note in his hand received 
that morning from Anna Mary, dated Tuesday and bearing the 
Hastings postmark. It was quite a nice letter. Anna Mary was 
sure her dear Gabriel would see her point and not be cross with 
her, but she had left Miss Siddal in bed and was anxious about 
her. The night before, talking of friends in London she had been 
careful not to say much about Miss Miller, for she knew that poor 
Liz was rather worried about her because people kept meeting 
her in Gabriel's rooms, where they said she behaved as if all 
belonged to her, including the tenant of them. Anna Mary 


thought that, considering, Gabriel ought to be more careful not 
to afford material for gossip. Artists and their models were so 
exposed to calumny. A little bird had told her " You, 
Allingham ! " Gabriel said, " for you went with us to Madame 
Tussaud's that day, I remember ! " how Lizzy's young man was 
seeing a great deal of Annie outside the studio, taking her to 
picture galleries and places of amusement dances and so on. 
No harm but, as an engaged man, he ought not to give people the 
chance to say he was making love to someone else while his 
intended was away, ill. 

The letter had made Gabriel so furious that he had had to lie 
down. Was there more in the Annie Miller business than any 
of them knew ? No ! Gabriel was not like that, but Allingham 
had never seen him so nearly moved like other people. He raged, 
he declaimed, but in his anger he was still the gentleman. There 
was no engagement whatever between him and Miss Siddal 
no such luck ! Miss Siddal was his pupil and grateful to him for 
the pains he took with her. She had respect but no love for him. 
Far too ill, poor girl, to think of marrying, and he was far too poor. 
He would go straight to The Hermitage and explain. 

Mr. Allingham's shirt was not clean enough for calls but he 
would walk with Gabriel as far as Tottenham Court Road. 
Waiting for the bus Gabriel began to think that he would write 
instead. Too delicate a matter to put in writing, Allingham 
said. If Gabriel would come back and wait while he changed his 
shirt he would go with him and take on the mother while Gabriel 
talked to Anna Mary and tried to remove the false impression 
which she (and probably Lizzy too, but he did not say this) had 
formed, before any more annoyance and perhaps pain came of it. 
Mrs. Howitt had a cold and was fetched down from her bed 
room. Shawled and shivering, she persisted in treating them like 
naughty boys. Of course Anna Mary shouldn't have written, 
and Gabriel shouldn't have shown a private letter : letters were 
not meant to be shown and she had never known any good come 
of showing them. Gabriel left and Allingham, as a dog that has 
got kicked in a game of skittles comes out from under the bench 
when all is over, remained behind for sympathy but got scolded for 
gossiping about the Miller. Better not to interfere between 
lovers even if they weren't engaged. Every one knew that 
Gabriel had been wild about The Sid for years ! Yet she did not 
fancy that there would ever be a wedding. He was too much 
absorbed in his career, and anyhow he had not enough to keep 


a wife on ; he was shrewd and business-like enough, for all he was 
so untidy and lazy. 

At any rate, he did not bear malice. At a tea-party at Chat 
ham Place next day Gabriel asked Allingham if he had any 
message for Lizzy, as he meant to run down to Hastings on 
Saturday and get one of her drawings to show Ruskin, with 
whom he was dining next week. 

Allingham was going on purpose to have it out with Anna 
Mary, who might have left ; she was due at lunch on Sunday with 
the Leigh-Smiths, so the whole brunt of the discussion would 
fall on poor Miss Sid. But it was never any use arguing with 


Allingham did not see Gabriel again for a month. But one 
Monday morning he met Miss Leigh-Smith in the Holborn 
omnibus and she mentioned that she had had a letter from Miss 
Parkes to say that Miss Siddal was " alarmingly ill." They had 
telegraphed to Gabriel and he was probably there by now. 

Barbara might have told him more, but she had asked to be 
put down at Boston Street, where the bus stopped, and she got 
out. He thought she looked rather coldly upon him. 


Yes, for the consequence which had been hanging in the stars 
ever since that moonlight walk and " My foolish disclosure," had 
come to pass. Anna Mary had " talked." She admitted it at 
Barbara's lunch on Sunday. Lizzy had come on so queer after 
Anna Mary left, that Gabriel, left willy-nilly in charge, had 
called in Doctor Hailes, who had sent up to Scalands to see if 
Miss Parkes would come and look after her, alone in lodgings 
with only a man to nurse her. She had a temperature, which 
had been set up by Gabriel's absolute and brutal denial, before 
Anna Mary, of any engagement between them. 

Bessie was annoyed with Gabriel for making such a fuss about 
Anna Mary's letting out something that everybody knew. Of 
course Gabriel was engaged to Lizzy, and if he wasn't he ought to 
be, and she bad written to Miss Leigh-Smith and told her all about 
it. Doctor Hailes would not allow the patient to see anyone 
all next day, and Gabriel had been well frightened and made 


to feel ashamed of himself. He was allowed to see her late 
on Sunday evening, as he had to go up early next morning on 
account of his father not so well they had been anxious about 
him since his slight stroke on Easter Day. And there was the 
Ruskin dinner, which he must not miss. . . . 

Though Lizzy wept more prettily than she laughed, Gabriel 
could bear anything but a woman's tears caused by himself and 
certainly no interference with his art ! Art was more than 
women : women were cheap ; he had no respect for them and 
would bear no reproaches from one of these chosen vessels of 
joy. But at that moment he said everything Liz wanted him 
to say, as he alone could say it, and soothed her. There was 
nothing else to do. She would have died. 

He saw that it would be misery for both of them. He was 
bound to make her unhappy because his temperament demanded, 
and would have, something she could not give him, ever some 
thing larger, more mutable, more vicious, even : his will to live, 
artistically speaking, would force him to see that he got it 
Bocca Baciata, The Kissed Mouthy as opposed to the reticent 
croonings of the " meek unconscious dove," who would, of her 
nature, languidly, piously, for ever frustrate the artist's imperious 
" Now." 

" What is it ketys me away from thy lower ? " 

Why, any passing lure of sense and jollity, any woman who set 
not so much store by her virginity a natural, healthy animal like 
Fanny or, at the opposite pole, the divine tomboy, Barbara. 
She, with her go, her fat, her resilience, would have been a better 
mate for this journeyman heart, that wanted little in the way of 
love-fellowship, but wanted it warm and generous, rich if not 
luscious. . . . 

His life, as he could manage selfishly to live it, did not matter 
much : his work, and its pabulum, did. The senses and their 
gratification, painting and its practice, he would see to and 
prosecute with all his might. The rest might go and Lizzy 
with it. 

This man was never seen to cry, not even when D ever ell died. 
Sorrow, with him, needed fancied persecution and real drugs 
to exploit and bring it out. 


The drawing-room at Denmark Hill, Rossetti told the fellows 
afterwards, made one feel as if one were in an aquarium. It was 
the awful translucency of everything. Water-colours, solemnly 
wedged in long coterminous rows, w r ent all round the walls on 
a level with the line of sight : blue lakes and silver clouds by 
Turner, grey doves with sheeny necks by Hunt were met by 
prismatic refractions, from the middle of the room, of the crystals 
and minerals reposing on fleecy cotton wool in their glass sarco 
phagi. The host, doing the honours of his collection with a 
microscope in his hand that momentarily flashed contradictions, 
was rather like a mineral himself, so Gabriel thought. Those 
blue eyes of his seemed to focus things differently from other 
people's with such capricious shaftings of angle, gleams of 
humour, flashes of wit : as it were, a spiteful saint ; an anchorite 
who should also be a man of the world ! The seer was too subtle 
for the artist ; Gabriel was not really happy in his company ; the 
whole decor of Denmark Hill made the latter long, somehow, to 
hide his own earthiness and pursue his more grovelling habit of 
thought amid the tolerant murks and warmer glows of Brown's 
house or Boyce's, full to the chin with curios, or his own place in 
Blackfriars, amid glooms kind to tired eyes, the dust and dirt 
that take off sharpnesses, the tatters that trim off angles, and the 
abraded corners of " old pieces " which break the line. He hated 
Mrs. Ruskin's pale lace curtains, her light brown rosewood draw 
ing-room suite, her elegant armchairs where you could never 
hope to find a sovereign, as Hunt did once in his need, because 
they were too carefully dusted and gone over every morning. 

He noticed when they went in to dinner that the portrait of 
young Mrs. Ruskin by Watts was gone and her bust by Maro- 
chetti covered up with an antimacassar. And that old Mrs. 
Ruskin looked pointedly away from that particular corner as she 
took her seat. 

The guest was called away from dinner by a message : his 
father was very bad. Old Mr. Ruskin's farewell, " a look border 
ing on the tearful," l as he held up his glass after filling that of the 

1 He was " of a temperament peculiar to the British race who, under a calm, 
unruffled and cold manner, conceal an emotional and affectionate nature." 
Jessica Sykes, in Mark Alston. 

H 97 

young man with Ruskin, Telford and Domecq's excellent sherry, 
saying old-fashionedly " I drink to thee ! " and young Mr. 
Ruskin's handshake all finger-grip were with him all the way 
home in the carriage which came round to take him to Albany 

It was only a little after seven and he took his turn to sit up 
with his father, relieving his mother, William and the girls. The 
Polidori aunts, close by in Park Village West, had been warned. 
Sitting there through the night-watches in a hard cane chair 
with not light enough to read by, he thought over the usual 
things that a recumbent, painfully breathing form lying prone 
beside one suggests ; defalcations and inattentions, trifling dis 
obediences : the small irremediable magnified by the imminence 
of finality, like the light of the candle casting shadows deeper than 
the gloom it alleviates. Face to face, in fact, with the Eternal 
Verities : Ruskin, so lately filling the picture and, in a minor 
degree, Lizzy both shunted for his father's hour ! 

A plump, short man his eldest son had inherited his figure 
as well as the tendency to " old, atrocious boils " 1 and that other 
disease most easily incurred by the pure, the proscribed, the 
hunted man who knows not where to lay his head except on the 
bare ground or else in foetid, lice and germ-infested caches ; 
one for whom ordinary measures of cleanliness and precautions 
against infection would be for months an unrealised dream, a 
mirage far beyond mere safety. Old Gabriele was of a gouty 
habit, an arrant snuff-taker, making odd gesticulations with his 
small hands tipped with bitten nails. Full of whimsies, he 
hated French women and loved English coal fires. His unique 
passion was Dante. It was the move from Frome that was killing 

As he lay there, immobile, nearly blind, muttering low, he 
saw, he called on by name, he conversed happily with General 
Guglielmo Pepe, his associate in the original Carbonaro Ministry 
of thirty years ago ; he talked as if he were in a gold-hung 
Neapolitan palace instead of a small dark house near Regent's Park. 
Far back in Time, re-living his Glittering Hour. His son, sitting 
beside him attentive on a low chair, nursing Maria's cat, the child 
of Zoe, listened to the oft-told tale, that ended with the escape 
from Malta in an English gunboat. Of how he, Gabriele Rossetti 
of Vasto, the Improvisatore, the accepted Rhymer to the Extreme 
Group, had, by his " burning rhapsodies," persuaded a whole regi- 

1 His illness was actually an eruption " of the nature of carbuncle." 

ment to desert from the other banner and raised his own country 
side against the Austrian. How he and Pepe had penetrated to 
King Ferdinand in his bed ; the Duchess of Floridia standing 
at the foot, and forced the quaking Bourbon to grant them a 
Charter. How somehow the quarrels of Pepe and Carrascosa 
had ruined all. And of the last great battle in the Pass of Monta- 
forte - 1 the breaking-up of the forces : the bloodstained trailing 
off into hiding, the gradual sneaking out of one's own country, 
an exile. . . . 

And the bitter joke of it all was that Pepe and Carrascosa 
fought a duel to settle some personal score as soon as they were 
safe on English soil. 

And when the ragged curtains of the dark, sheering off, showed 
the peep of a London day, there came the change. . . . The pale, 
shivering family, wife, four children, three sisters and Teodorico 
Pietrocola Rossetti, the cousin, peering with his beady black eyes, 
called in haste from Park Village, filled the little room. And 
plaintive, quiet Mrs. Rossetti read aloud the Italian translation 
of the Liturgy and the old patriot died slowly and quietly of old 
age . . . marasmus. . . . 

He had been quoting Dante, calling on the names of bygone 
comrades. He had no word for the living. 

For here, where day still soothes my lifted face 
On thy bowed head, my father, fell the night. 

Gabriel, stumbling down to breakfast about five on a chill, 
windy morning, thought very kindly of Lizzy, whom he might 
lose, like this, at any moment ! He wrote to Doctor Wilkinson, 
asking for an interview on Tuesday or any day before the funeral ; 
for as soon as that was over he meant to go down to Hastings 
and be very nice to her. 

He had not now time for William Allingham ; his world had 
shifted it was all Ruskin and Lizzy now yet, to tell the truth, 
he rather resented the way Allingham forced his hand. The 
estrangement lasted until his new friend was barred to Gabriel 
by sudden illness (though the founts of benevolence were not 
stopped for that). By Saturday it was given out that Mr. 
Ruskin could neither see nor speak. 

Gabriel got a letter from his patron to say he would be unable 
to see him or anybody before he left town. Mr. Rossetti perhaps 
had heard that Mr. Ruskin had had much upon his mind for the 

1 See Fra Diavolo." 


last few days or he soon would hear. But he was leaving an 
order with a bookseller for a complete set of his published works 
to be sent to Mr. Rossetti and means to be back by August, 
when he hoped to see the drawings of " Mr. Rossetti's pupil." 

And, by parcels delivery to Chatham Place, came a piece of 
opal not a fine piece, but " Mr. Rossetti will like to let his eye 
rest on it." A magnifying glass was to be " used to its purple 
extremity." Beautiful, but Gabriel did not take it to Lizzy ; 
opals are supposed to be unlucky. 


Painters were preparing for the Spring show. Allingham and 
Boyce went round to Gower Street to see some sketches Millais 
had managed to get ready for some minor exhibition. (He had 
missed the R.A.) They were all likenesses of Mrs. Ruskin. Mrs.R., 
Waiting for the Last Word., at a lattice. Mrs. R. saying to her 
young man, Shall I see you To-morrow ? in Millais's handwriting 
underneath. Mrs. R. accepting a man on the lawn in moonlight. 
Mrs. R, as a Seamstress, as a Ballet Girl and as a Peasant present 
ing The Order of Release to her man's jailer. 

But the portrait of Professor Ruskin, which was to have been 
the picture of the year, was not finished and by Saturday all 
the world knew why, and what had been on Mr. Ruskin's mind for 
the last few days. Unkind people said that it had been there 
since last November year. " I have made my plans " She 
had given him a broad hint, then. The summons had come the 
very day Gabriel Rossetti had dined at Denmark Hill, and now 
the pillory was set up in the market-place for all who cared to 
throw rotten eggs at the most sensitive, the most retiring man in 

Allingham, sauntering across Gray's Inn, was hailed by 
Thackeray out of a cab. He began with an inquiry as to his 
contributor's health" You're not looking well, Mr. Allingham " 
and on to the great case. At first disposed to be down on 
Millais ; " Thack " was easily pacified by Allingham, who took 
care to mention Johnny's kindness to young Deverell, sitting up 
with him all night. ..." Bravo, young Everett ! " said the 
great man, clapping his hands and drove on. 

Tennyson, in Stebbing's chambers, sat smoking like a furnace, 
discussing the Ruskins and Cayley 's translation of Dante, Carlyle' 
over his breakfast pipe, considered the catastrophe inevitable and 


From a photograph 

the less said about it the better. Lizzy's Doctor Wilkinson and 
Professor De Morgan the Spiritualist spoke of nothing else for 
the whole of an evening, and William Allingham, escorting a 
famous medium to her bus, was snubbed for discussing " Mrs. 
Ruskin's husband " and " circumstances " which that lady coyly 
thought " needed not to be explained." 

Ruskin's message was now invalidated. People said and wrote 
that " the world was not going to be preached to by a mad 
governess ! " Woolner declared loudly, " Ruskin is an unsafe 
guide for the women of England," and Mrs. Oliphant accused him 
of killing the Pre-Raphaelite Movement. 1 He became afraid of 
backing anybody and refused to write so much as a critique on 
Patmore's new book " The circumstances of my own life 
unhappily render it impossible." For the moment his services 
to artists came to consist in standing godfather to their children. 
At least his sponsoring would not compromise them with God ! 

Women condemned Mrs. Ruskin for not bearing her marital 
cross in silence. Men, in view of her youth and extreme pretti- 
ness, the grounds of her complaint and the stpries of her husband's 
domestic savagery, were down on him for taking a girl like that 
and burying her alive in a year of rain, " in this kind of house." 2 

Millais, their only permanent guest, 3 always said that the "wet " 
did it "I do believe that in the Trossachs they have all the rain 
in Great Britain and a stock of their own into the bargain." The 
weather got so on his nerves that the word Rain appears after the 
signature on all the little pencil sketches he did of Effie sitting 
sewing, with digitalis in her hair driving fishing in church 
shaving her husband. . . . 

She did complain a little to the young man of her husband's sub 
ordinating her to his terrible mother, and at Herne Hill, where she 
was mistress, treating her like a child, pinning a list of her mis 
demeanours on to her pincushion along with the housekeeping 

1 " Its dismemberment was connected in a spiteful manner with incidents in Mr. 
Ruskin's own career." Autobiography of Mrs. Oliphant. 

2 So Ruskin describes it complacently to Furnivall, enclosing a pen picture : 
" And a little garden eighteen feet long by ten wide, sloping down to the stream in 
front and up part of Ben Ledi at the back." 

3 His friend Holman Hunt was invited, but he did not go with him. Might not 
the whole course of Ruskinian history have been altered if that gracious, kind and 
noble spirit had had a say in the beginning of it ? 


money once a week. Being or pretending to be uxorious, 
pulling down her chignon in the drawing-room and enjoying her 
confusion when callers were announced. . . . 


Did he love her, ever ? He said once, careless who heard him : 
" It would be better that she were broken on the wheel than 
come between me and John Millais ! " 

Millais loved Ruskin as much as Ruskin loved Millais, and this 
love subsisted through life, long after the woman had come 
between them. Millais would never listen to a Word against 
Ruskin, 1 and Ruskin's ridiculous art-petting of Millais gave 
colour to the theory, pretty universally held, that the husband 
had " asked for it," leaving his young wife alone for a week 2 
while he went to lecture in Edinburgh. And there was another, 
graver accusation. He knew it and told his secretary, who wrote 
to him " soppily " to condole on his troubles, that " for you to 
adopt my principles might be prejudicial to all your prospects 
in life/' And was at pains to refute Furnivall's hint, clothed in 
compliments " Don't talk of my risking my reputation for 
young men. You need not think it great in me ! I do it for 

He did not realise that, though the tale of his affliction roused 
and held the interest of a morbid and innocent girl, any accusation 
of immorality was likely to set her parents against him. 3 

The denizens of the - farmyard crowed and cackled and 
" ploted " 4 the outsider. " An insolent capon," so one of the 
Positivists 5 declared in company of Holman Hunt, who never 
lied and who told him that the noun at least had no warrant. 

1 Ruskin is even said to have gone to the wedding an impossibility, for they were 
married in the drawing-room at Bowerswell and to have taken tea in Cromwell Place, 
so said Henry James. The tactless young husband sent on to Ruskin photographs of 
his and Effie's first-born, taking rooms for his wife, nurse and baby for the summer 
in the very manse where he had stayed with Mr. and Mrs. Ruskin in 1853. 

2 " Rooms contiguous." Mrs. E. M. Ward, who perhaps did not realise the 
exiguity of a Scotch bothie, said this to the authoress in 1924. 

8 Mrs. Latouche made inquiries, according to Mrs. -Williams-Ellis (Tragedy of 
John Ruskin). It was said at the nullity trial that he had a defence ready. 
Holman Hunt tried to get him to plead. He would not. He did not choose to 
call &f--but preferred, without a word of self-defence, to suffer public and private 
humiliation sooner than hold a woman who did not want him. 

4 To " plote " the goose is to pluck it. 

6 James Cotter Morrison. 



f ^HE weather broke and on May Day, through the rain, 

I all the smart folk fared to the Private View of the 

Royal Academy AlKngham as a critic ! He had never 

-^- met Mrs. Ruskin but he could have sworn that she was 

there. If so she had the grace to be dressed quietly no 

crocus gown a contrast to Miss Annie Miller, who, in red and 

blue like a P.R.B. painted window, was peacocking about in front 

of her portrait. She was the Queen of the artists' May, elected 

tacitly every year from some lady whose portrait adorned the 

walls. Her engagement was practically acknowledged and she 

had taken care not to forfeit her position as the " intended " of 

the painter of the picture whose subject was for the first time 

" the universal subject of discussion in these Islands, from one 

end to the other." 

Of course the British Public was impressed by the picture, 
praising its choice of theme, its simplicity and " the lofty ex 
pression on the face of the Redeemer." But though the leaves, 
the panelled door, the lanthorn were all painted according to 
the canons of Pre-Raphaelitism, the mat-white foldless obe, 
like marble, like wood, without drawing, without handling, was 
plumb against them. Hunt's worst qualities were what endeared 
him to the Nation. No matter ; one of the Brotherhood had 
managed to popularise the Movement and henceforth, as a Body, 
they were safe in the Abraham's bosom of the accredited picture 
mart of England and the brewers, merchant-princes, manu 
facturers, shipping agents, contractors and iron-masters flocked 
round, shocked, puzzled, 1 but solid for Hunt. 

One of the Brethren, alas, could not keep his temper, or his pen, 
off the subject. Next night at Collins' Munro, Stephens and 
Brown present Rossetti, President, announced to " You fellows " 
that he was putting his design for Found into " The Portfolio " this 

1 " Such things are, but why paint them ? " And " the general colour is so odd 
one can't quite tell what to make of it at first." Miss Catherine Winkworth. 


round, but was " haunted by certain consequences that might 
be shadowed forth in rapid action " and proceeded to read them 
one of his mirthless, undramatic little saynetes that they were in 
the habit of listening to patiently. It was called Miching 
Malhcho It Means Mischief. 

The first scene was laid in Robert Street, Adelphi, the chambers 
of good-natured Mike Halliday, Millais' great friend. Halliday 
announces that he has got " The Portfolio " at last from " that 
wretched Rossetti " and is glad to find, in spite of all their 
prophecies, that the fellow really has put in a design ! Briefly, 
as President, he sketches the subject a castaway crouching by the 
parapet of the bridge at early dawn, discovered by a lover of 
earlier days, who is pulling her hands away from her face to 
observe the ravages of her present life. He then sits down and 
ostentatiously addresses a letter to Millais at Chatsworth a 
dig at Millais' smart friends. 

The second scene is laid at the Collins' 1 in Hanover Terrace. 
Slangy greetings and reiteration of the word " Stunning ! " (the 
Brethren were already poking fun at themselves). And Millais, 
back from ducal parages, admits to being rather puzzled about 
" that design of Gabriel's," who seems to have lit upon the same 
subject as himself, about a woman and a market-gardener finding 
her in the street. Did he show it to Gabriel or didn't he ? 
Anyway, he is now painting it. Halliday remarks that that will 
be a bore for Rossetti, but Millais retorts airily that old Gabriel 
would never have finished it ! He knows of a brick wall (for 
which Gabriel is searching in vain), and " when my Found is 
done, 't will be the loveliest thing you ever saw in your life ! 
Stunning ! " The pet expletive goes off now and again like a 
popgun all round the room, a shield for some misgivings in the 
minds of the Brethren. (Rossetti was strong enough to dare to 
indicate this.) 

The third scene takes place in the Aihenaum office, with Mr. 
Hepworth Dixon dictating his review of the R.A. Exhibition. 
" Our readers will remember the striking originality of the 
artist's conception. . . . The editor's only objection is to a 
certain similarity of subject in two of the works exhibited. . . . 
We allude to Mr. Hunt's Awakened Conscience . . . Mr. Millais' 
Found. . . ." 

So deeply was the idea of special injury done him by the 
stealing of his " notion " (as he conceived it to be) set in Rossetti's 
1 What a lot Wilkie must have known, and disregarded ! 

consciousness that he had told Ruskin about it, and using all the 
perspicuity and wisdom of which he was full when other people's 
affairs were concerned, Ruskin wrote at once (crossing out the 
Mister and begging Rossetti to do the same). " You feel it is 
not worth while to bring out your modern subject now he has 
done his first." He thinks Found a dreadfully difficult subject to 
carry out, but it will, it must, be done. . . . 

He was really anxious that his protege should drop this dreadful 
medievalism, which he hated as much as would a man whose 
favourite songs were, Comin' thro* the Rye and Katie's Letter that 
he had young ladies sing to him by the hour, and who could 
bear to sit in his own dreadful drawing-room. Long ago he had 
owned to disliking the ugliness of Pre-Raphaelite faces Millais' 
Mary Virgin, Hunt's Viola (for which Miss Siddall had sat) and 
Rossetti's Lucrezia, with her red hair and pink roses in it ! He 
detested, in spite of its moral subject, Hesterna Rosa the gnome- 
like women sitting about on the floor (there were plenty of easy- 
chairs in his mother's house) also Paolo and Francesca, floating 
through space in a cotton-wool snowstorm signifying the flames of 
Hell to which this sort of guilty person was generally consigned 
by Dante. But how could Rossetti and the man who burnt 
Goya and advised people " for pure, all virtueless, stupid, 
deadly poison " to read Victor Hugo and who nourished " a 
painful propensity for Longfellow," be at one ? 

Ruskin's secret garden was in Philistia. The key of it hung 
always at his watch-chain and he was fond of gathering its flowers 
say, calceolarias, fuchsias and nemophilas and entertaining the 
fauna of it, such as Royal Academicians and holders of opinions 
contrary to his. He would ask the lion to lie down with the lamb 
Rossetti to meet Clarkson Stanfield begging the former on this 
occasion to be " not too Pre-Raphaelite," nor was he even afraid 
of the heavy-weight champion of the open-air school (who had 
lampooned him shockingly). 1 Anxious to propitiate him on his 

1 To the deuce with Ruskin 

And his gas lamps seven ! 

We've the stones of Snowdon 

And the lamps of Heaven. 

Leave to Robert Browning 

Beggars, fleas and vines ; 
Leave to mournful Ruskin 

Popish Apennines. 
Charles Kingsley in a review of The Seven Lamps oj Architecture. 


friend's behalf on the morning of a day when Kingsley was 
lunching, he sent down a portfolio to Chatham Place for the 
artist to fill with drawings to show the " strepitous " clergyman. 
Not Lizzy's ; he was afraid they might be too morbid for him. 
Nothing was to be put in that had " feeling in it," but, say, that 
drawing of Blackfriars Bridge, with which even Kingsley could 
hardly quarrel ? 

Everyone realised that Rossetti had definitely succeeded the 
young Millais in Ruskin' s affections. The Professor was now writ 
ing letters to that young man, describing himself and his character, 
his likes and dislikes, telling the worst of himself, recording his good 
points as lovers use, shyly flattering the other " Among all the 
painters I know it seems to me that you, on the whole, have the 
greatest genius/' also, as far as J. R. can make out, " are a very good 
sort of person." And, though J. R. owns to " no loves and no 
friendships," he tells Gabriel Rossetti all about that glove of 
Adele's left in a drawer these eighteen years ago. 

" The best friend I ever had," Rossetti said afterwards. Did he 
mean financially ? For quite soon Ruskin made him the proposi 
tion the rich are able to make, accepted faithfully, carried out 
for years, until the inherent flaw which sooner or later im 
paired all Rossetti's friendships with men at any rate brought 
it to an end. 

The manifestations of Ruskin's generosity were connected 
with his own present complex. Gabriel was not " to let the 
idea slide " into his head that Ruskin was " doing things for 
him," for the British Workman, for anybody, in order to regain 
his place in public opinion. He is what he is, " and a good many 
people think I am very bad ! " 

Managing him and his money box, Rossetti did pretty nearly 
what he liked with Ruskin during the good years he had him at 
beck and call. The elder man admitted that, in the company of 
the younger, he was " robbed of all initiative in thinking " : his 
mind could only " follow Rossetti's." He got back his Cate 
gorical Imperative when he had a pen in his hand. Then he 
became the imperious and sarcastic teacher and Rossetti the lazy 
and fractious schoolboy. 

But, try as he would, Rossetti could not get Ruskin, who was 

1 06 

doing the poor man real pecuniary damage, to accept Brown, 1 
who had more passion in his little finger than Rossetti had in his 
whole body. 

Ruskin could not bear Brown, his manner, his art which 
embodied the principles of the particular bias Brown saw life 
by. Disliking the morbidity inherent in medievalism, the 
Professor fought it and its supposed concomitant, sensuality, in 
Rossetti, just as Eastlake was fighting it in the Royal Academy, 
while his wife did the same in the Press. 

" Female horrors (their models) with thin bodies and sensual 
mouths, looking as if they were going to be hung, or dead and 
already decomposed," wrote " Corinne " 2 in her organ, The 
Quarterly. While her husband (" Little Eastlake," so he was 
called : she was " Lago Maggiore "), a less virulent but intensely 
disapproving Philistine, would slyly boast to his real intimates of 
having lately met a painter " deeply versed in all the literature 
of art, but absolutely uncontaminated by Ruskin." 

Rossetti would soothe his fiery old teacher with farcical abuse 
of Ruskin. Ruskin was a sneak and only loved him, Rossetti, 
because he was one too ; and Ruskin only half liked Hunt because 
old Hunt was only half a sneak. Ruskin hated Brown and 
Woolner because they were straightforward Woolner appallingly 
so. Ruskin used to adore Millais because Millais was the Prince 
of Sneaks. But now that Millais had sneaked away his wife 
Ruskin " was forced to hate him just for having a little too much 
of his favourite quality." 3 So Gabriel would run on, puzzling 
and disgusting Brown, who, simple and sweet, tough and testy, 
never knew what to make of this man who could poke fun at 
Ruskin and accept his kindness at the same time ; could exploit 
him " That little transfer of pictures, how will he take it ? " 
and laugh at him " Old Ruskin wants a little Academy of his 
very own in every blessed manufacturing town, where he can 
rope in all the rising young men and dictate the laws of art to 
them to his heart's content." 

He was to study landscape more " scumble instead of 
stipple " to make " careful studies of the whole, sacrificing all 

1 " Don't buy Madox Brown at present. Don't you see that his name never 
occurs in my books ? Do you think that would be if I could praise him ? He is an 
entirely worthy fellow, but pictures are pictures, and things that aren't aren't," 
Ruskin to Miss Heaton. 

2 Lady Eastlake. 

3 Rossetti, his Life and, Works, Evelyn WaugL 


the detail " (this to a Pre-Raphaelite !). To exercise in light and 
shade, or colour, " in large grammatical abstractions," slowly 
and resolutely ce You can't make light and shade interesting in 
the same picture. Though nature can, we can't ; we must 
sacrifice one or the other." 

Mostly Gabriel did as he was told, 1 leaving " the pure greens " 
out of The Nativity " Please do, or you will make me ill again ! " 
Endeavouring to get it to look " less like worsted work by Wednes 
day." Nor did he vocally resent hints as to the proper packing 
of drawings. He had scratched " the cheek of Lancelot " in 
sending it but, next time, he did put " a sheet of smoothest 
drawing paper " over the faces. For well he realised what a 
splendid business man his patron was, insisting, for instance, on 
his producing " small, easily saleable things " it was much 
easier to find ten purchasers for a twenty-guinea picture than one 
for a two-hundred-and-fifty-pounder. 


With the assistance of the rich Polidoris a plot of ground for 
old Gabriele was bought, close to the grave of Brown's first wife 
on the western side of Highgate Cemetery, by no means a 
favourite neighbourhood, haunted, and neglected. The grave 
under the aspen would hold seven ; and there, after he had been 
dead a week, the body of its first tenant was laid. 

Wednesday, the 26th May, was a full day for his eldest son. 
Gabriel had asked for an appointment after the funeral with 
Doctor Wilkinson, saying he hoped to get down to Hastings that 
very night to attend to Miss Siddal, whose illness, still in the 
pathetic and not unbecoming stage, had provoked in him a 
recrudescence of affection. He had had a note about her from 
Miss Leigh-Smith, enclosing another from Bessie Parkes, which 
made him uneasy. She was rather bad. He designed a longish 
stay with her while awaiting Raskin's return, and bade Allingham 
get Routledge to send the wood-blocks for the volume of ballads, 
which he had accepted a commission to illustrate, t6 Chatham 
Place, so that he could take them with him. He had already 
begun a sketch for one and must really set about them in earnest 
and some other " likely things to raise tin." He must resume 
his sittings when he came back, and meanwhile Gabriel was 

1 " You are a conceited monkey, thinking your pictures right when I tell you 
positively they are wrong." 


leaving the field clear for him with La Belle. And Allingham was 
to tell Munro and Clough to write to him at 12, East Parade, 

He got down that night, armed with powders for Lizzy from 
Doctor Wilkinson and the blocks which had come in time for 
Lizzy to finish her drawing for Clerk Saunders. He didn't think 
her worse rather better judging from her appearance. He 
had taken a little walk with her and she did not seem fatigued. 
She was better ; she admitted it herself and the glorious weather 
they were having would soon cure her. . . . 

He was all kindness and thought for her Would William 
send that shawl Aunt Charlotte had promised ? " just the 
thing ! " He had taken some sort of line with his family and 
with himself. 

The woman had taken her line too ; a stronger, firmer one 
than the man's. She did not want to be made to look silly 
again, or a repetition of the Anna Mary incident. A bit of 
an artist, she was a bit of an actress as well. Through her 
poetry she cleverly gave Gabriel to understand that her heart, 
such as it was, was buried in the grave with Deverell. " A 
startled thing ... a bird with a broken wing. . . ." she could 
not give him the love she gave so long ago. Only 

... a sinking heart 

And weary eyes of pain, 
A faded mouth that cannot smile 

And may not laugh again. 

Gabriel read her poetically garbed reproaches, marked and 
kept the poems but did not show them to Barbara Leigh-Smith. 
They were not very good not nearly as good as her drawings. 




" TITT is certain that my conviction gains very much as soon 

as another is found to share it." Barbara's Aunt Julia 

thought Lizzy's manners perfect and sanctioned her being 
JL asked to Scalands. " Several ladies here have called and 

been very attentive to Lizzy. Everyone adores the dear." She 
enjoyed it, Gabriel's pride in her, the sun of favour shining as 
well as the other luminous body this was a glorious Spring. 
Her spirits improved, her worst symptoms abated and she 
began her drawing for Clerk Saunders. He had moved his 
traps to Mrs. Elphick's, who gave him a room in the haunted 
attic for less than eight shillings. " No one thinks it odd," he 
told his mother, " my going into Miss Siddal's room." x 
Miss Smith herself had said to the landlady that it would be 
most inadvisable for Miss Siddal to sit in a room without a 

Think it odd why should they ? An artist and his model ! 
But he was beginning to care what his mother thought of his 

They were asked to stay at Scalands Gate. Lizzy was to have 
Anna Mary's room full of china Christs hanging on ebony 
crosses and fonts for Holy Water : Anna Mary, brought up as a 
Quaker, was now as good as a Catholic. 

Barbara's cottage was built on a hill over the village amid a 
sea of young birches, chestnuts, hornbeams and pines. From 
the windows one saw for miles over hills and dales ; farmsteads 
and oast-houses with their tapering roofs and gilt vanes. She 
had built her cottage in simple style, as a protest against 
" Victorian worship of smugness and pretentious comfort." 
Here was comfort but no pretence. There was no hall. The 
front door opened straight on to the parlour and the staircase. 
Simple, like Lizzy's old home in Kent Place but oh so different ! 

1 " Having cribs in the same house," as he puts it somewhere else. 


No marshes and no crawling, slimy river, but a peep at the sea 
from the window of one bedroom. The round table in the 
middle was spread for meals, and at dinner the door left open on 
to the garden permitted Lizzy to watch the birds picking up the 
crumbs she sprinkled for them on the step. In the kitchen 
adjoining, Henrietta Blackadder officiated alone, with her simple 
stews and innocent rice puddings. (Rossetti never got quite 
enough to eat here.) Miss Leigh-Smith had her own little room 
upstairs where there was a frieze running all round the top 
reproducing the Bayeux tapestry (Scalands was close to the place 
where the Battle of Hastings was fought) and a shelf covered 
with Algerian pottery and bookshelves below. There they sat 
in the evenings reading aloud, listening to the " dog music " 
from the kennels outside pointers, beagles and retrievers, used 
for shooting by Barbara's brothers. 

" It's wonderful at Scalands/ 7 said Emily Davies, who, bringing 
overworked School Teachers and Feminists, came down often to 
be " un-tired " so Barbara put it to the painter, whose delicate 
model she had also undertaken to look after until he could be 
prevailed upon to shoulder the responsibility. 

She and Bessie and Anna Mary had strong hopes of an engage 
ment. His attitude to Lizzy was improving in proportion to her 
credit with them. 1 " Everyone here adores and reveres Lizzy/' 
Gabriel said, and wrote, " She is lovelier than ever but so weak." 
She managed to see the country riding about on a little mare. 
Down the hill into Robertsbridge, dismounting by the church 
garth and walking up by the hedge of southernwood to the old 
church, so spoilt inside that they would not go in. To Bodiam 
Castle, wandering by the moat where besiegers " sat down " 
with their catapults, under apple trees, creeping leaves and 
ivy in loads. And over the drawbridge into the Castle and up 
to the chamber to look out of the window on the stagnant water 
spread with a soft grey carpet of broad water-lily leaves. Through 
the hop-fields to Clive Vale Farm, which Anna Mary's people 
had once lent to Hunt when he was thinking of going out to his 
uncle in the Colonies to learn to keep sheep. There was the little 
table he had taken for a palette, with splashes of red, blue and 
green, and turpentine dried upon it. That did not particularly 
shock Lizzy, used to artists' ways by now. Then they wandered 
round the garden among the great red flowers, the little blue 

1 Had he married Barbara how different his life would have been ! It is possible 
that his fancy for her was one of the reasons for his delay in proposing. 


flowers, not one of which could she name, but said they reminded 
her of the foregrounds of the pictures of Gabriel and his friends. 
She was observant, like these men, and would stand for hours by 
the lily pond in the kitchen garden under the old oak where the 
white owls lived, to watch the gold-fish, seen as if through a red 
blind under the murky water, and if she came too near they 
would sense her and dive, leaving a nameless stain as of blood 
and, presently, no more than a shy blur. . . . 

" They always rise when the weather is thundery, 3 ' the 
gardener said. It was now the weather was breaking. 

And at night they would go out to hunt glow-worms along 
the roots of the hedges, or sit in the red room and read aloud. 
Brother Ben, in from his own place and weary with husbandry, 
in his blue blouse with his dog Rough at his side, would be pre 
tending to listen, rising sometimes suddenly to go out and eject 
a tenant. His was a largish property. 

Well disposed to her friends as they were, conversation with 
Barbara's brothers was difficult for the two artists ; and what 
must these good people have thought of the man, sauntering, 
trailing his umbrella that never left his hand, humming through 
his closed teeth nothing like a tune ! And the woman, haggard, 
pale, hatless, with irises or what not wreathed in her hair. Did 
they pass discreetly on, when they came with their dogs, tramping 
through the preserves, and found the pair prone in the under 
growth, he lying on his back with one knee raised and his hands 
behind his head, while she plaited long grasses, making herself 
wreaths for her hair like Ophelia, Lying about was a habit 
Rossetti practised all his life in the woods at Lymington with 
Allingham, in the wide field furrows at Kelmscott, 1 on the small 
sofa at Cheyne Walk he was fat by then. 

On these debateable borders of the year 
Spring's foot half falters 

Barbara had worked it and the electrical fluid spilled from 
the skies on the day of the thunderstorm. Gabriel Rossetti and 
Elizabeth Siddal were caught in the rain and took refuge in the 
dim, dark wood, by a little spring that welled up under a stone 

1 Between the acres of the rye 
These pretty country folk would lie. 


half hidden by lush grass, that they knew of. There they 
cowered, shielded by the leafy screen which the arrowy death 
could not pierce unless God really wanted to find them. And, 
when it was quieter, making a cup of her fair white hand, she 
gave him to drink out of it, from the well . . . shyly, with the 
affectation of one who is aware that the moment has come, that 
she is making a man " athirst where other waters spring," taking 
him by her grace as she stooped, and the poise of her languid 
wrist that trembled. . . . 

And she sang to him. They were both gay, like children on 
whom Doom lies. 

He proposed 1 to all intents and purposes in 

... that hour my soul won strength 

For words whose silence wastes and kills, 
Dull raindrops smote us and at length 

Thundered the heat within the hills, 

and ratified it that evening in her room among Anna Mary's 
Christian emblems. It still rained. Standing in front of the 
window that looked over the valley and the hill beyond, she was 
mistress of herself, playing gently with the white cotton blind 
tassel and tracing with her finger on the pane the progress of the 
shining drops that blurred the view, her eyes downcast, seeming 
to be interested in the pale green fields, helpless, prone under the 
driving sheets of rain. . . . 

She did not believe he meant it even now, but she accepted 
him and they cut their monograms on the lintel of the window. 2 


At first Gabriel enjoyed being engaged, taking it as a cataclysm 
inevitable, a thing written. He wrote to Brown, " When I first 
met her I felt that my fate was defined." To Allingham he 
solemnly made over his interest in the Cordial Stunner ; " no 
chance for me any more." 

And next day, when they returned to Hastings and Mrs. 

. , . the memories of these things 

Like leaves through which a bird has flown 

Still vibrated with Love's warm wings 
Till I must take them all my own 

And paint this picture . . . 

1 He tells it himself in a poem written long before, pulled out and altered to fit 
her The Portrait. 2 It is now the cook's room. 

I 113 

So he cleared away the whatnot with the china tea-things on 
it that stood in the window of the back room in Number Five, 
bought some tall pot-plants and put them in a row on the steps 
into the garden outside, to imitate the shade of the trees, and got 
her to stand up against them, " as in the wood that day," and 
made many a sketch of her " dear " face with outlandish flowers 
arranged in her " dear " hair and, in the evening, pen-and-ink 
designs for her new monogram (something with a dove in it, the 
bird she loved for DeverelPs sake), as well as shots at illustrations 
to Allingham's poem and the blocks for Routledge. But he 
confessed to being lazy, writing to Allingham " Poor Miss 
Siddal has done better than I have." He still owed Allingham 
for their fares down, but " be sure that I am really going to 
attend to that petite affaire of . s. d. Meantime (light chaff in 
which Rossetti was always very heavy), tenez vous bien ! " More 
references to the Cordial Stunner and a message to friends and 
enemies at home " Remember me to Boyce and Munro and 
Clough and forget me to Coleman. . . ." 

He now went about declaring that Lizzy was a genius, that 
those long tapering fingers of hers from which the blood seemed 
to have retreated, as in the first stages of the disease called 
pernicious anaemia, were those of an executant and that in her 
designs she fulfilled his desideratum, putting in " the fundamental 
brain-work that makes the difference in all art." 

She was very very thin but yet desirable. The hair which 
had at first attracted him was still glossy, golden and upspringing 
% as ever, the figure majestic in its length of limb, the noble 
shoulders sharp but unbowed, so that she raised the desire she 
was further than ever from consenting to crown, now that she 
had the excuse of invalidism. Courageous, uncomplaining, 
captain of her soul, she had the stoicism of one inured to 
varieties of hardship, as other, more sheltered, women are used 
to frequent, medically-imposed, changes of air. The changeling 
expression that so the poet Allingham maintained attested 
her fairy origin, held some of the unpleasant naivete and super 
imposed wisdom of the slum child, and evoked the mood of 
ruth that now and again comes over the artist, since Pity and 
Terror he must command or never know the full artist's passion. 

She went back to High Street and Miss Leigh-Smith left for 
town, telling the girl that she would always find her room ready 
for her if she had a fancy to go there alone and be looked after 
by Henrietta Blackadder. The Triumvirate had lost interest in 


this queer pair whose engagement they had procured. It was 
now for the woman, who obviously wanted it most, to bring her 
man to the point of marriage. 

Gabriel rather wished Lizzy would accept this invitation and 
let him go back to town. The spectacle of her ups and downs 
and the responsibility of tending such frail loveliness depressed 
him. " She is a sweet companion, cracking her little mirthless 
jokes. . . . But the constant sight of her varying state is much 
less pleasant." 

There was something of Cellini about him as well as of 
Leonardo ; of the cunning craftsman and the simple painter. 
Something too of Omar. 1 The Dream and the Business were 
never very far away from each other in his mind. If he married 
this sick woman he must give up Chatham Place. Wilkinson 
would certainly forbid their setting up there. . . . 

He wanted to get home to begin Found while The Awakened 
Conscience was still on the walls of the Royal Academy, so that 
his " modern subject " could be compared with Hunt's. It 
would mean money, too. His means were still, as he put it, 
" small and fitful," and he paid Lizzy's rent and kept her, whom 
he had prevented from making money for herself by sitting to 
some other fellow. As for commissions she wouldn't get much 
for the work she was doing, even if she ever finished it, so said his 
boding heart and business mind. She was going to be a per 
manent invalid and he would have to make enough money to 
support a wife and perhaps a brat . . . consumptives have 
children. No more Chinese inlaid cabinets or four-mark china 
for him ! . . . 

His own sources of revenue were chancey. Aunt Charlotte 
was good at a pinch. There was McCracken, who adored him 
but had just asked him to accept thirty-five pounds instead of 
seventy-five for a water-colour, and of course Ruskin but Ruskin 
might dry up ? Ruskin had not seen Lizzy, but Gabriel was 
sure that he would not admire her or the way she dressed. 2 He 
knew about her, of course. His letters from Switzerland usually 
ended with some such stiff, polite message as " I sincerely 
trust your best anticipations with respect to your pupil may be 

1 " take the cash and, let the credit go." 

2 He liked the Dresden china shepherdess style of dressing hoops, furbelows, 
fichus, and screaming crocus gowns. 


Everyone knew what was happening to Ruskin, what made him 
crochety and, at best, absent-minded. Allingham wrote to tell 
Rossetti, who had already heard of it from Munro and Calder 
Campbell. He had even had a letter from Millais himself, 
telling him that he was going into the country, and one from 
Ruskin, so painfully before the public nowadays. Gabriel rather 
admired the man" Seems to take his sell coolly ! " 

The Scalands ladies were still away and the weather had 
turned. " It is very windy and rather slow here ! " He must 
see Allingham before he went back : he was just waiting until he 
could scrape together enough " tin " to leave ' " this stunning 
part of the world " and get back to town." 

Miss Siddal, as soon as he was gone, went to Scalands. She 
wanted to stand again, to lie again, in the Silent Wood. 

She was now more or less serene, as those who are definitely 
health-condemned, finding a quaint solace in the performance 
of one or two of the picturesque observances that may remain 
for them to do, making certain gestures of predilection, since 
nothing much mattered any more. She did not complain . . . 
but it was all nonsense this saying she was better : she was very 

She did not walk far, for Wilkinson had forbidden it. Just 
to look at the dogs in their wire pens, leaping, barking or standing 
up quietly like animals about to be vivisected, their stomachs like 
a brown mat flattened against the network ; or go the other way, 
to peer at the white owl sitting in the heart of the thornbush. 
But best she liked the wood near the house, with its " gellibirds," 
shouting cuckoos, blackbirds and thrushes, and nightingales 
warbling at dusk from the amber-tinted oak tree. And there 
was the other wood, farther away, where she and Gabriel had 
gone so often to sit in the great dark hall of the over-arching trees, 
a light roof keeping off rain and the heat of the sun alike. She 
would lie flat under the low boughs, nearly down to the ground 
in some places, with waving fern fronds to fan her, and for long 
hours would watch the movements of the underworld, the tiny 
restrained gestures of the small things, shiny, furry, feathered : 
creeping, pottering and flying low among and under the different 
kinds of darknesses, mossy, velvety and dun like the shadows and 
corners of the human body. Low-leafed boughs of the larch, 
like eyelashes, stirred now and then by the grey flash of a bird 


slowing down to take cover, like the prow of a boat beaching in 
the shallows of the shade. . . . 

She lay so still that they were not afraid of her any more 
than she was afraid of them. She was not afraid of anything, 
not even of vipers whose bite deprives a man of his virility and 
makes a woman " silly " for life. Henrietta Blackadder objected 
to her bringing blackthorn and may into the house and even 
nightshade. Miss Siddall would actually handle the Dwale 
Bluth, as Mr. Brown called it, that would make her die if she so 
much as put her finger in her mouth afterwards. She gloated 
on the strange, weary pallor of this flower, the dull purple stem, 
the thin leaves veined like the hand of an octogenarian, faded 
like the moon, seen by daylight, which always made her think of a 
jealous woman. Nor did she feel disgust at the natural preying 
of creatures on each other. Near her would be the remains of 
an owl's meal, grey feathers glistered over with the kindly dews 
of night. She would think of herself as a dead savage, carried 
on a wicker bier to the woods by her kinsfolk and left to be 
parcelled out among the birds and the worms till there was 
nothing left of her but her bones. 

Long day-dreams, with kind, courteous, natural death at the 

She would get up and tidy herself and pick the white flowers 
of the celandine from the toes of her black shoes and go in, 
quickly passing the kitchen window, so thin that Henrietta 
Blackadder would hardly have time to see her as she went by 
a " regular tallow candle." No wonder ! She ate scarcely 

And Gabriel Rossetti, healthy, full-blooded, cheer-loving, was 
back in town, breakfasting with Allingham, dancing with Annie 
Miller at the Gun Tavern, rowing with her and a friend to 
Pimlico to fetch Stephens in Lupus Street, and walking, all four, 
to Hungerford Bridge and by rail to Greenwich to attend the 
Fair. A wild, Teniers-like scene. Grown-up people rolling down 
One Tree Hill, little boys running about rubbing a wooden 
instrument with a toothed wheel down men's backs as they rushed 
past, to make them think their coats were torn. Kiss in the 
Ring, skirmishing with their own girls and others Gabriel got 
some scratches. Then they would take the pretty ones to have 
a shrimp-tea in the little house at the Park Gates where he and 
Allingham had once led the austere and dreary Lizzy. And 
parted at Chancery Lane, each to his own place. 



She got wind of one of these excursions and sent for him. 
The weather had changed. In Hastings now there was dense 
fog and heat, " when sea and sky made one wall," and on the 
days when she was not so well he had to walk by himself on the 
cliffs baked dry as a bone, or below, on the beach smelling offish, 
longing to get back to his own stinks at least and perhaps to 
cheerful Annie ? He would sit alone at the window, plumb on 
the street, of the parlour and listen to the Town Crier with his 
" O yes ! O yes ! " and wonder if it wouldn't be the easiest 
thing to put plagues and poems, skeletons and unfinished pictures 
into his sack and let him sell them all off without reserve. 

She was no better. Miss Leigh-Smith again talked of her 
Home, which Lizzy would have none of. It would be the death 
of her to be shut within four walls to brood, with sick people all 
round her and Death, perhaps for Death occurs oftener 
in hospitals than outside. How if she should be puzzled by 
the disappearance of such a one and warned of the cause by the 
solemn looks of the officials or, confined to her room, hear the 
noise of a coffin knocking against the banisters, the shuffling feet 
of the bearers, and guess what it all meant ! 

Her wishes for once jumped with his and presently they were 
back in Chatham Place. 

The papers were full of the state of the Thames, its wharves 
and bights, 1 so alarming that our legislators at Westminster had 
to have chloride ^ of lime put on the window-sills of the Hall 
of their deliberations. Questions were being asked in the House. 
It was only a hundred years since the River of Dead Dogs had 
been covered over and a portion of it still festered to the sun. 
Nor are dirt and disorder in the home good for consumptives, and 
this fatal condition, the glory and the shame of Pre-Raphaelite 
menages, was implicit in Number Fourteen. There was no 
witty Puck " to go before and sweep the dust behind the door." 
Nor would this Duke of Athens have engaged him. He hated to 
be cleaned up. Mrs. Madox Brown, born a country girl, did 
come in now and then and give " a hand's turn " with a broom, 

1 Edlington's Wharf, Lime Wharf, Mr. Hood's Iron Wharf, Randall's Wharf 
St. Andrew's Wharf and then Puddle Dock, Sand Wharf, Hudson's Wharf leading 
up Bennett's Hill to the Cathedral On the other side (west) Wood & Co 's Wharf 
Pig's Quay, Gas Light Co.'s Wharf, Dorset and St. Bride's Wharves, Stapleton's, 
Western Caves and the Grand Junction Water Works. 



From a drawing by Ford Madox Brown 

Gabriel all the while begging her to desist sooner than risk the 
obliteration of landmarks. Her attitude was good her husband 
drew her as she swept and called it Cinderella. 

He was not well either. He got up to his work every morning 
feeling " so hopelessly beastly " and his work " so hopelessly 
beastly too." He took " physic " as he called it and such pallia 
tives as Lizzy, out of her invalid's pharmacopoeia, suggested, and 
found himself better but " confused," so that, in illustrating The 
Maids of Elfin Mere, he drew one of the ghosts spinning left- 
handed and had to do the drawing all over again. 

He was looking up his translations of early Italian poets to 
see if there was any money in them, writing short stories, 1 asking 
William to find him some person to read him " some gospel 
for Llandaff" 2 and went as far as Brown's in the broiling 
August sun to borrow costumes for The Passover. 

And all the time various duns, that Mrs. Birrell did not choose 
to deal with so sent them up ! Benthall on the staircase 
opposite, agent for Mr. Duncan, kept on applying for the rent 
of the rooms, over-due and over-due, till Aunt Charlotte came 
to the rescue " Pay D. G. Rossetti or Order. Twenty-five 
pounds. C. Polidori." 

Sadness chastened him and the rueing that follows doctors' 
visits, the fall of the mind's barometer, coupled with the want of 
" tin " which drives men like Gabriel Rossetti to abound in 
ultra-recognition of wrongs and unreasonable assessments of 
blame. He seemed to see, in the stone-cold face of a mirror, Liz 
dying, a maid forlorn, in the Old Kent Road (which he actually 
fancied more unhealthy than Chatham Place), among alien 
enemies (as he chose to consider her own people). Hearing that 
Miss Leigh-Smith's health had broken down and that she was 
going abroad for it, he savagely wished that " there was Rome for 
my good pupil, whose life might matter a little ! " 3 Why 
should lovely amateurs like Barbara have, through their unearned 

1 St. Agnes of Intercession. Not the sort of short story that pays which we write 

2 Seddon had succeeded in getting hold (for the benefit of the P.R.B.) of a Welsh 
M.P., Bruce, afterwards Lord Aberdare, who commissioned the altar-piece. It 
was he who later authorised and gave facilities for the opening by night of Lizzy's 

3 Rossetti, bis Life and Works, Evelyn Waugh. 

wealth, the power of preserving the strength indispensable to 
the furtherance of the art they need not actually live by ? The 
constant bitterness of Brown and all the Pre-Raphaelites which 
had dictated their revolt against the state-subsidised " Muffs of 
Influence " surged up in him as he watched her putting touches 
in, scraping others out, quiet, unrebellious, sitting at her little 
easel placed on the table near the window. A great respect for 
her grew up in him. Sturdy in a way, yet so pathetic with those 
long loops of hair falling heavily, wearily, over hollow cheeks. 
Now and again with a patient adequate gesture she would put 
them aside with her long thin hand. Or too weak to get on 
with it at all, just sitting like a folded umbrella, in her own big 
chair. He could not but realise how bad she was ! The illness 
of a strapping wench like the other would give way to treat 
ment, " whereas, perhaps," so he wrote, " her soul is never to 
bloom nor her bright hair to fade, but having hardly escaped 
from degradation and corruption, all that she might have been 
must sink out again unprofitably in that dark house where she 
was born." 1 He did not know where exactly or, if he had been 
told, he had forgotten, but it was in some slum or other on the 
Surrey side. . . . 

His boding soul, aware of its insufficiency and lack of pur 
pose, had actually come to envisage either Death for this 
poor creature or her inevitable return to influences from which 
he had rescued her full four years ago, with such a flourish 
of trumpets ! " From degradation and corruption ! " Strong 
words, such as poets use. He meant perhaps the degradation of 
illiteracy, the corruption of those who sit in darkness and gnashing 
of teeth and read the penny dreadfuls. Lizzy's Greenacre com 
plex must have been in his mind. He had never forgotten about 
the fool-brother who had gone out and bought the murderer's 
inife " he did it with," according to advertisement, and shown 
it to the little child and made her a nervous subject for life ! 
The father seemed the best of them, but he was " sicklied o'er 
with the pale cast of thought," full of the dreadful sourness of 
those who go down into offices and litigate. A tall, thin-lipped 
man, so Lizzy described him, not in the least like a shopkeeper, 
after his day's work was over, sitting still, the black silk scarf he 
affected straying across his shoulder, nursing his fiddle, in " the 
dark house " of Gabriel's prepossession. 

She had described it, the tiny parlour, the staircase, dis- 
1 Rosscttiy his Life and Works, Evelyn Waugh. 

simulated, at the back, up to the next floor where the father and 
mother slept ; and then higher, up to the room which she had 
shared with Lyddy, with the tiny grate that would not have held 
a fire even if her mother had allowed it. Sadie cruelty ! Lyddy, 
who never really lay down in bed, but sat up to sleep : younger, 
not worn out as Lizzy was with nursing, yet morbid too, was per 
haps also affected by the legend of the murderer who lived 
next door and by the hanging which they all attended. The 
executioner, according to custom, while the criminal was " danc 
ing on nothing," had actually, in order to expedite matters, 
jumped on the victim's shoulders so that the rope broke and 
both executioner and criminal fell down into the trap. 1 

Browning, who lived then in Camberwell, had told him of 
how, coming away from the first night of Strafford, he had met 
the horrible people tramping by to Newgate to be ready, over 
night, to witness the hanging. And even Macready had been 
nervous and would have liked to postpone the play because he 
was afraid that someone in the audience would shout " Green- 
acre ! " 

Well, he, her lover, had taken her away from the society of 
ghouls who could gloat over a hanging, out of the dark night of 
ignorance and imbecility and brought her here into his life, a 
lovely foundling, to paint from and lie with. . . . 

And now she was too ill for either. " No man cares for my 
soul," she had said bitterly once, when he was making robust 
love to her as artists use when their model is pleasant to the 
touch as well as the eye. He was not troubling much about her 
salvation then \ Now he suddenly chose to feel himself responsible 
for that. . . . 

" I do not mean to make myself an exception, for how long 
have I known her and not thought of this till so late ? " 2 

For many days, but not so many as the days of his neglect, 
" this subject," so he told Allingham, was " by far the nearest 
thing to my heart." 


He had never loved her more than now that he was going about 
to betray her. 

1 The phrase has passed into dock language : it is a stock joke to say " green- 
acred " when a set of goods falls out of a sling, so violent an impression was produced 
on everyone by this particular execution. 

2 Rossetti, bis Life and Works, Evelyn Waugh. 


Some time ago, at Rossetti's suggestion, a club had been formed 
whose manifesto was " The Portfolio," which was sent round 
to the members for their contributions, lying at their houses for 
a week " oft becalmed in the Port of Blackfriars." But this 
October Rossetti wrote to the President to say that it was his 
intention to contribute a sketch he had newly made for Found. 
Some time ago, he told them all, he had come across the very 
model for it an old acquaintance, the wife of the ex-porter at 
Somerset House a buxom beauty who used to throw nutshells 
at him in the old days as he passed under the arch to see Walter 
D ever ell. He had run across the woman at Vauxhall one 
evening, and she, good Cockney soul, exclaiming " Lor ! If it 
isn't Mr. Rizzetty ! " had flung her arms round him in the friendly 
gloom, under the trees hung with pale-coloured lamps, lit only 
with the furtive flare of fireworks. He had loved it, for once, the 
careless frankness of the trull who can refuse a man nothing 
but has no particular interest in giving it just " fond of a 
guinea " and not averse to delivering the goods. He did not 
quite know where he would get her to pose for him hardly at 
Chatham Place, as he remembered her. She now lived some 
where in Wapping, with her husband. Old, and past work, 
Hughes had lost his job as porter and dispenser of artists' materials 
when, after Mr. DeverelPs death, Sir Henry Cole had got the 
Head School of Design moved to South Kensington. Hughes 
was thoroughly unsatisfactory, but his wife bravely supported 
him by her toil. 1 She had been on the stage and was now by way 
of being a model " Miss Fanny Cornforth " on her professional 
card. A handsome, full-bosoined girl, young but portly, even iji 
the old days, when she used to &tand im her blue print gown, 
arms akimbo, under the dark archway at Somerset House and 
chaff the students wanting to see young Walter Deverell, whisper 
ing to them that the cross old father was out and they could go 
straight in. Now, her still rounded face had something tragic 
about it. She had not " kept herself respectable," in Victorian 
parlance, and with her bonnet half off and hanging by its string, 
she did splendidly for RosabM. She was so good-natured and 
obliging, sitting for hours in the cold and damp, that Gabriel 
made time to go and see her in her lodgings, somewhere down by 
the river. Lizzy had not seen her, nor Lizzy's watchdog Brown. 

Though he had taken a house here on purpose for the back 
ground of Foun^ he was painting it at Chiswick where he had 

1 " Fanny's incumbrance . . ." Rossetti to Watts, 1874. 

By the kindness of Mrs. Ed-ward Rae 

From an oil painting by D. G. Rossetti 

discovered an eligible wall, 1 dividing the churchyard from the 
Keightleys' 2 garden, that would do. He was sleeping at Mr. 
Keightley's and she at Weymouth Street. They had both had 
to get out of Chatham Place because of the cholera, which was 
frightfully bad. 

1 " Not too countrified to represent a city wall, some moss but no prodigality of 
grass, weeds, etc." 

2 Author of some books on Fairy Mythology, mystic poet and ardent spiritualist. 




IN this year, 1854, exit William Allingham, fixed at his 
new post in New Ross and only over for very short visits, 
as a witness of events. Of The Sid's patient decline 
during the period that elapsed before Ruskin made his 
frenzied bid with Death for her life, one hears only from Brown, 
the faithful, the sturdy, the exaggerated in expression 
Brown who loved her purely and without passion this side 
idolatry, calling her " a real artist, a woman without parallel for 
many a long year/' Brown, who " smelt the mould above the 
rose," inspired Gabriel, intensely suggestible, to garner beauty 
before he lost it. 

On the 8th of October he called in Chatham Place and saw 
Miss Sid, " looking thinner and more death-like and more 
beautiful and more ragged than ever." He meant " ragged " as 
the fringed mist wreaths that flee before the sun after a storm, 
torn edges of wind-buffeted cloud ; flesh unbemmecL as it were, 
by the contours of health, except for that full neck without 
" drawing," straight from nook of ear to shoulder, constituting 
to some minds a defect, but a line adopted by Rossetti thence 
forward, whomsoever the sitter. 

" And all my days are trances" 

A creature of (bad) habit, Gabriel Rossetti hugged his hair 
shirt and complied with it ; the healthy animal side of his nature 
was being slowly starved out by the rigours she could not help. 
Living in a state of sleepy worry, his friends saw him strangely 
altered : " Life seems to play in him no longer, he still says 
good things, but so colourlessly and so hollowly." For the first 
time in his greedy, facile life he knew bitterness. 

He had let her go back to live in Weymouth Street, and would 


turn out dispiritedly alone for the meal that " combines/ 5 so he 
said, " the sweets of an assignation " with a waitress they called 
" The Cordial Stunner." Her innocent favours he shared with 
William Allingham, who sent her valentines 1 and what not, from 
his banishment. Half-hearted back-chat from Rossetti " She 
came in on purpose to see me, in a lilac walking costume. I am 
certain she does not regret you at all ! " 

The waitress at Southon's was only a bluff. Now for Gabriel, 
as for Shakespeare, there was the Dark Lady. Fanny whose 
real name was Sarah was fair, but the adjective is less graphic 
than psychic. Bouncing, comfortable, all contour and no angles, 
the high spirits and high bosom of his old friend the nut-slinger 
of Somerset House were a welcome anti-climax to The Sid's 
haggardness, and corresponded to the more normal side of the 
temperament of this " great Italian trying to live in the Inferno 
of England," as described by Ruskin, who seems often to find 
apt phrases for matters his own idiosyncrasy never knew. 

Using the occasional intercourse with Jenny there could be 
no mistake about the guineas with her as a bypass, his tenderness 
for the woman who now held for him scarcely any sexual appeal 
seemed to increase and flourish. He had ceased to live in the 
same house with her and called her by a more stilted name than 
" Guggums " ; 2 it was " Dear Dove Divine " : in his doggerel 
rhymes he identified her with the bird that combines meekness 
with a touch of the old-maidish acerbity. The very colours she 
wore suggested the sheen on the necks of her pets. He designed 
her a monogram to this effect and, in his letters, took to indicating 
her name by a hieroglyph representing a dove. 

Had he made one for Fanny it might well have been a wombat. 


Very soon, hard up for company and someone to sit up late 
with, he imposed himself on Brown in his new house in the 
Finchley Road. The excuse was Found, which Brown was 
always egging him on to finish. 

He had " got in " the face of Rosabell : he had " met the right 

1 So now I give good-bye, ma belle, 

And lose no great good by it. 
You're fair, yet I can smile farewell 

As you must shortly sigh it 
To your bright, light, outer shell, . . . 

4 2 She was willing now, perversely, to call him Gug. 


model for her the other day" (Why did not Brown then scent 
danger to his dear ?), but wanted models for the countryman, 
the cart and the calf. Brown must procure him a calf and, 
to do Pre-Raphaelite justice to his subject, he must live near 
his model. 

A calf was got of the right age, restive and miserable. That 
was simple enough, but Brown was, as usual, terribly hard up 
and his house was too small for visitors. His wife was expecting 
her second child ; her sick fancies cost him something. She had 
had a month's longing to go to St. Albans, of all places, and he 
had indulged her, Emma, gravid : in his eyes " the most beautiful 
duck in existence," had enjoyed the trip, but dinner, night and 
breakfast at The Pea Hen had cost him one pound five with 
the tip. 

But he went on working and starving : swaggering and even 
begging, painting meticulously, " finishing from corner to corner," 
spending a month on the bonnet-strings of the female emigrant 
and four on King Lear's carpet, paying his models handsomely, 
keeping open house, putting one of his last half-crowns into the 
collection " for the poor, cholera-parentless brats," begging of 
Seddon and Uncle Madox in order to maintain little Lucy in 
her high-class school at Greenwich and for the upkeep of Emma's 
mother, always in difficulties down there in St. Pancras visiting 
pawnshops every three days or so with family plate, jewellery, 
rare engravings, papier mache ornaments and articles of clothing. 
Poor Emma's good Indian shawl was oftener with " My Uncle " 
or pinned round Dummy than on her back and only returned 
to her shoulders while she was sitting for The Last of England. 

In one great bout of pawning, just before Gabriel came, he 
had raised eleven pounds. By the 24th of the same month it 
had dwindled to two and, five days later " Money-box shows 
only .1 2s. 6d" 

There was an inn opposite, but Gabriel preferred a room in 
Brown's house, 1 with its front door above the level of the path 
way, up some steps and along a gravel walk bordered with white 
and purple candytuft, which little Cathy was forbidden to pick. 
^ The accommodation of Grove Cottage was scanty : parlour, 
kitchen and scullery on the ground floor and two bedrooms 

1 Five Socratean heads, all alike, were moulded on the first brick course, with 
which the builder had endeavoured to classicise his villa. The painter spent some 
time in hacking these off and so reducing the wall to a flat surface. They have 
been replaced since and now grin down as in the first weeks of Brown's tenancy. 


above, A door with red glass panes gave access through a yard 
to a kitchen garden, sloping up the hill at the back, where 
Brown painted backgrounds and set up Dummy dressed in 
kingly robes (or his wife's shawl). 

The guest arrived in the morning of the ist of November 
but did not mean to sleep there that night, for Ruskin, who had 
been back in London since October, had at last asked him to 
dinner. So they inspected the calf, tethered opposite, and 
Gabriel went back to sleep at home handy for Camberwell. 
Next day he returned and Brown started him on the calf. It 
" sat " so badly that Gabriel never got to work until half-past 
three, when he knocked off for dinner at Brown's. His bed 
was on the sofa in the parlour and he wore a pair of Brown's 
trousers and Brown's great-coat ("which I want!"), while his host 
sat painting out of doors with a blanket off the bed round his 
loins. Gabriel was terribly heavy on the larder, the wardrobe, the 
colour-box and the purse and altogether contrived to " make 
the whole place miserable." 

On the 2/th of December Brown had only two-and-eightpence 
in hand. On the 30th he pawned his dress coat, waistcoat and 
necktie, Emma's silk cape and cameo brooch and the shawl for 
the dozenth time, giving his model two shillings out of the ten 
thus collected, and began a sad little poem 

Ours are the nameless sorrows, 

The sudden and meaningless pain 
That lights on the new-sown laughter 

Like birds on the new-sown grain. 

" Master Gabriel " (so Brown, when most outraged, would 
describe his friend) stayed nearly a couple of months. By the 
3 1st the situation was horribly strained. Brown and his guest 
had sat up jawing as usual till five in the morning, Brown incon 
sequent as Rossetti was logical, arguing about suicide ; Gabriel 
standing out to do what he liked with his own body. 1 Rossetti 
had not yet touched his portrait of the calf, but talked to Emma 
of " several days yet " for the picture euphemism for the same 
number of months. Then Brown told his guest that he must 
go had he not noticed it ? Mrs. Brown was within a week 
or two of her confinement, and a monthly nurse had to be 
housed. He might sleep at home or take a bed at The Queen's 

1 Brown took the Church's view as he, and Ruskin too, with a queer reservation, 
did eight years afterwards in the case of Lizzy. 


Head ? But Gabriel said that would be expensive. Nonsense, 
Brown said brutally ; a bus fare one way would not break him : 
he might walk out from Blackfriars in the morning when he was 
fresh, and drive back home at night when he was tired out with 
work. Rossetti shouldn't think of doing anything of the kind ! 
" So " and one can almost perceive the sob in Brown's voice, 
and observe the premonition " he is gone for the present ! " 



LIZZY nowadays worked in water-colour : oils tired her 
too much. Gabriel meant to see what could be done 
with some of her things, possibly through Ruskin, 
whom he met pretty regularly at the Working Men's 
College where he had taken a class to please him. 1 Ruskin was 
charming to him as ever but seemed in no hurry to make the 
acquaintance of his "pupil." He might have seen her; in 
November of last year, he had nerved himself to face his public 
again and announced a lecture in the Architectural Museum in 
Castle Street, near Lizzy's old shop, addressed to workmen in 
the Decoration trade on Design and Colour. Gabriel charged 
brother William, in his capacity as journalist, to procure tickets 
for him and Lizzy and Mary Howitt as near the front row as 

Did the Professor take a hasty lecturer's glance over the row 
of stalls immediately below the rostrum and notice the triplet 
of oddish-looking people to which the one known face gave 
a clue ? Two ladies Mary Howitt was dumpy and healthy 
and could not have been taken for the invalid he had heard so 
much of were sitting by Rossetti's side and, very soon after 
this, he wrote to Professor Norton describing the sweetheart of 
Mr. Rossetti as " hopelessly mediaeval-looking, more like a 
fifteenth-century missal than anything out of a fresco." 

He was not ever in love with The Sid. 2 He was in love then, 
and always would be, with youth and health, 3 considering no 
female worth looking at after eighteen, hating what he called 
" grand faces " in women, caring only for " infinitely delicate 

1 His day, then, was Monday and remained Monday until after his wife's death, 
though his attendances grew more and more intermittent. This date is significant. 

2 It has been said. 

3 " The kind of painting we want in London is painting cheeks with colour." 
A lecture by Ruskin. 

K 129 

and soft ones." When he did see Lizzy, she was sickly and already- 
past her bloom. He only wanted to look after her in order to 
set the mind of a great artist at ease and enable him to work 
with a free hand. And he fully believed in Gabriel's love for 
her and that she was at Death's door. 

He had not been told all the ins and outs of it. He may have 
imagined that the girl was still living at home with her family, 
who naturally enough set their faces against an art education. 
Or he was, after all, a man of the world it may have occurred 
to him that the reason why Rossetti was not profuse in his 
invitations to Chatham Place was that the guest might meet 
Lizzy, bonnetless and in house shoes, and discover that she as 
often as not shared the flat with her lover. 

Meantime Gabriel was working for an invitation for them 
both to go to Denmark Hill. 

It came as the wind bloweth, and as suddenly. One morning 
in March Ruskin came to Chatham Place while she was out and 
bought every scrap of paper tinted by her. The showman was 
begged to name his own price and, realising the advantage of 
getting the drawings into Ruskin's hands, put them at what he 
considered a low one. But Ruskin declared that twenty-five 
pounds was too low, even for a low price, and insisted on paying 
at least thirty pounds for the lot, proposing to have them 
splendidly mounted and bound together in gold. Then he sat 
down and wrote to the young lady herself an open letter 
" promising further usefulness " as Gabriel, standing over him, 
noted. He ordered some more designs and Lizzy began them 
at once. 

Brown got a letter from the delighted Gabriel at Finchley that 
night with all details. " Ruskin will have it that hers are better 
than mine better almost than anyone's ! " Here he gave Brown 
a handle. " Just like Ruskin : the incarnation of exaggeration," 
so Brown wrote to Allingham, adding loyally, " Ruskin is per 
fectly right to admire them." 

Another of Gabriel's happy letters had been written to 
Woolner, who was staying with the Great Unapproachable, as 
Tennyson already was called. Woolner told him about Rossetti's 
discovery of genius in the slums and he made Mrs. Tennyson 
write to Moxon to say that Mr. Tennyson wasted some of the 


illustrations to be entrusted to Miss Siddal. Moxon naturally 
wanted names, but Mrs. Tennyson was so interested that she 
offered to pay for the designs herself rather than not have them 
included. 1 

Gabriel and Lizzy quarrelled about a design of two nigger 
girls playing to two lovers. It had been " married," said she, 
to Mr. Allingham and now he had gone and sold it to Ruskin ! 
In a temper she dictated the letter Gabriel wrote to Allingham, 
to say that she was prepared to do him another and a better 
design as compensation. 

The set was informed that Mr. Ruskin had not been intro 
duced because she was an invalid whose movements were 
circumscribed by the weather. But, " some thoroughly fine 
day, Lizzy and I are to pay him our first visit together." 


Ruskin's wife had left him in April : Millais would be marrying 
her in July, for ever lost to him who was still, in his critical 
capacity, inordinately praising his work. This generosity, how 
ever, was taken by the world as a sign of weakness. Behaving 
most decently, John Ruskin was compelled to play an unsym 
pathetic part. It was harder to act than he thought, in the first 
flush of relief at having got rid of her, when he had almost 
cheerfully agreed to the third 2 of those propositions which her 
father, Mr. Gray, red-haired, speaking with a strong North- 
British accent, had laid before him. 

He chose the worst for himself and tried to get away to 
Switzerland, where, under the blue and amid the snows with 
sunsets to tint them, he alone could find comfort. But he 
must see Miss Siddal and leave all tidy and self-supporting 
in that menage before he left. On the nth of April the 

1 The illustrations to the Moxon volume came to contain the work of members 
of such opposite schools as Horsley and Hunt; Rossetti and Mulready about 
whom Ruskin went nearly as mad as he did about Miss Siddal. She was only one 
of his chanties. The worry about the books, the unruly contributors, especially 
Rossetti, is supposed to have killed Moxon. No example of Miss SiddaPs work 
actually appears in it. 

2 (I) An accusation of infidelity against either party undefended. (II) Four 
years 5 refusal of cohabitation on either side to institute desertion undefended. 
(Ill) A decree of nullity in case of no defence from the party implicated. 

He declared himself indifferent as to which of the other two was selected. He 
refused the first. 

lovers were bidden to spend the day at Denmark Hill. The 
bus took them as far as the bottom of the hill; Lizzy was 
able to walk up. She was impressed, as Gabriel had been, 
by the importance of the house, by the actual time it took 
to get to the inner sanctum, along the solemn drive with the 
cedar stooping over it, by the solemn footman (not powdered) 
who opened the door, past the hovering maid and valet. She 
walked in like " the person of distinction calling on Dante " 
in the first drawing for which she had sat to Gabriel five 
nearly six years ago. Mr. Ruskin himself was standing in the 
hall to greet them. For a long moment her hand lay in his 
(" all finger grip "), and then in the father's, which had to be 
taken out of his pocket first. Led into the long, light drawing- 
room dancing with prismatic lights refracted from the pictures 
on the wall and the glass-covered cases sheltering minerals, she 
was motioned towards Mr. Ruskin's mother, at the far end of 
the room, whose welcome was gracious unexpectedly so, to 
judge by the faces of her husband and son. Rising, with the 
effect of Royalty, she took the young girl upstairs to take 
off her bonnet. " My maid Anne," with appraising glance, 
relieved her of her cloak, and then Mrs. Ruskin led her to a 
window and showed her the view southwards, over the towers 
of Sir Joseph Paxton's palace, and indicated the whereabouts of 
the little river Effra, neither seen nor heard, at the bottom of 
the dell. She was next allowed to peep into Mr. John's study, 
where the table took up so much room that the rest of the floor 
was but a passage round it. There were no curtains to the 
window he did not choose to keep the sun out. The room was 
tidier than any room Lizzy had ever seen j she much preferred 
it to Chatham Place. 

After lunch she got very tired of lakes and waterfalls 
Constance, Lucerne, Windermere, Thun and Schaffhausen : 
her host, not so much walking as hovering, taking pictures down 
and suddenly appearing at her elbow with them ; so Mrs. 
Ruskin took her up to her own room on the western side of the 
house, darkish by day because of the big cedar on the front lawn, 
made her lie down, and had a talk with her. 

" God be with thee ! " said the old father prettily when it 
was time to go, and the carriage came round to drop 'her at her 
own door, and take Rossetti on to Chatham Place. 

Going home, she declared that she loved Mr. Ruskin's father 
but did not care for his mother ; she saw, through her calmness 


and serenity, all her innate cruelty, her arrant and enormous 
vanity. The son was kind, but she did not approve of the way 
he talked ; his rather silly, perverse characterisation of people 
and things that didn't happen to suit him. And he would keep 
on dragging in religion, which made people feel shy, telling her 
that Prayer was often " long unanswered " and bragging about 
his own " great pieces of self-denial that all ended in catastrophe 
instead of victory." (Digs at his wife, she supposed.) She 
realised his absurd craze for youth " Only the Young are 
happy " but supposed he had had a lot to bear. . . . 

She had made a good impression. Her behaviour was perfect : 
William, had he been there, would have agreed that it was 
not even " flighty." Her absence of affectation was pleasing to 
the old people and the economy of gesture that invalids, uncon 
sciously husbanding their resources, practise. Mrs. Ruskin, who 
had seen a relation or two quietly die of " the decline," knew 
what it meant. 

And Anne Strahan, as she was called, really a member of the 
family, approved of the " young person " Mr. Rosetti 1 was 
going to marry, so quiet and ladylike, " speaking so particular," 
her mouth never too widely open and handling her knife and fork 
quite nicely. She had not been told that Miss Siddal was a 
model and supposed her of a superior station to Mr. Rossetti, 
whom she classed with the other " artisses " that Mr. John was 
always bringing in to show them his pictures and keeping them, 
with his mother's consent, on to meals geniuses who didn't 
know how to use their napkins and made noises while they ate. 
Anne, living in this house, knew what a genius was and waited 
on it with contempt. 

To old John James but he took care not to dilate on this 
point to his wife Lizzy seemed the daughterling he would have 
liked to have had, to play with John when he was a child, and 
perhaps make him less unusual. 

Young John was less impressed. He wrote to a friend on the 
other side of the world, where the gossip of London would be 
harmless by the time it had reached the breakfast-table. And 
even so he was guarded. He " found in her a perfectly gentle 
expression " and was sure that Rossetti " would not have given 
his soul to her if she had not been perfectly gentle and good." 

He respected her for her probity in business dealings, her 
diffidence in accepting favours so unlike her man ! and stub- 
1 So Ruskin always called him and spelt his name, then, as all his friends did. 


bornness in sheer refusal of them, and he always, in his letters 
to Rossetti, sent her his reverent love. (The adjective was 
carefully chosen.) But she represented but one of his many 
charities. He had other young-lady-irons in the fire ; there 
was one in America who was taking up landscape to please him 
and a rich one in Yorkshire who was buying up Turners on his 
advice. The difference between her and his other protegees 
was that she had something in her. He told her so. 
" The plain hard fact is that you have genius. 5 ' 


The very next day he came to Chatham Place, bringing in his 
hand, with his mother's best regards to Miss Siddal, a packet of 
Ivory Bone Dust, well known ^s a powerful restorative and not 
easy to get, since it is only kept by shops where they sell goods 
made of elephants' tusks, paper-knives, napkin rings, hair brushes, 
and so on. The formula accompanied the packet. 1 Then 
(" No joke ! " in the words of the astonished Gabriel) he made 
to her sweetheart, as representing her, a certain proposition, 
suggesting two equally magnificent alternatives for her accept 
ance. One, that he should from that day forward purchase all 
her work, paying for the drawings one by one as he received 
them, selling them to her advantage, if possible, at a higher rate 
and, if they gained more, the difference to be of course hers : 
if not, he would keep them himself and be glad to do so. 

Or, that he should pay her a round hundred-and-fifty a year 
for all she did ? 

Would Mr. Rossetti look in on him at Denmark Hill, say that 
afternoon, and tell him which of the propositions suited Miss 
Siddal best and to which she would agree ? He was off. . . . 

Gabriel, speaking at the door, promised to see her at once. 
And Ruskin, going downstairs, bade him not forget the packet 
of Bone Dust he had observed him absently putting it aside 
as Mrs. Ruskin was anxious that Miss Siddal should begin on it 

1 To one pound of dust add two quarts of water, boil gently for eight hours 
and let it stand all night to get cold. Carefully remove the jelly without disturbing 
the sediment (if the jelly is not firm it is because it did not continue boiling and 
must be boiled again), put the jelly into a clean stewpan to warm, add six ounces 
of loaf sugar, two teaspoonfuls of brandy, one wineglassful of sherry and the juice 
of one lemon. Strain through a jelly-bag into a pan, then strain again through 
another jelly-bag into moulds. Stand to get cool. The flavouring may be varied. 

Gabriel sent a note, to William at the Board of Trade, giving 
the good news ; telling him that naturally, the moment Ruskin 
had gone he had rushed out " to call " upon The Dove (using 
the familiar hieroglyph) and " had found her out." Probably 
gone to the Browns' and irrecoverable for the next few hours. 
He must see her in the evening, for he had promised to go to 
Ruskin in the afternoon. He had had an exhausting day and it 
was not over yet. For he had an idea that his Lizzy, in her 
queer dislike of being beholden to anyone, would jib at even 
Ruskin's patronage. She was, however, to be " severely coerced 
if necessary." 

The clou of the note to William is that he intends to bring her 
to tea the day after to-morrow. William is to prepare the ladies 
in Albany Street for the introduction of a prospective daughter- 
in-law. The formal expressions " call upon her " and "found 
her out " are part of a plan to make these women feel that she is 
going to be a family asset and no mistake about it ! And also to 
establish domicile ! She has her own rooms and lives in them 
and he calls upon her there and finds her " out calling " too, 
like any other independent lady of no fixed occupation. 

She was coerced. He saw her that night and had a talk with 
her. Her own feeling was against Ruskin's first plan for the 
very reasons which made Gabriel prefer it. She foresaw, as 
Ruskin did, that there might he " goodish intervals " when she 
could not work and might run short of money. Both she and 
Gabriel knew that Ruskin would not allow that, so that they 
two would get the best of the bargain. But be sure that Ruskin 
realised the punctilio of this girl of the people, and thought the 
more of her. 

Little excited notelets fled on the wings of the post from 
Gabriel to William and to Brown. Over, the long winter of 
his discontent ! Lizzy would be all right now that the Ruskins 
had taken her in hand, treating her as a personage : not a model 
but a great artist who painted even better than Rossetti did. 
Gabriel's megrims left him, like the headaches of Millais, who 
was just about to be wedded to Mrs. Ruskin and " perfectly 
aghast " at his own happiness. Now, with two of the P.R.B., all 
was merry as a marriage bell. " I love her and I love everybody 
and feel happier than I have felt for a long while." But as usual 
disposed to shift his burdens on to other people's shoulders 
" Would you have leisure," he wrote to Brown (who had perhaps 
less leisure than any man in the world), " to go with Guggums 


to a colourman's and help her to buy all necessary tools ? " He 
suggested Roberson's, " the only eligible demons for oil-paints/' 
but he cannot take her there himself as he has got " a feud with 
them " (euphemism for an unpaid bill). Brown will see that she 
is not overcharged, as she would be if she went alone. And he 
is still on tenterhooks as to the attitude of Albany Street 
" Lizzy will take tea, and perhaps dinner, at my mother's 


Brown obeyed. Next day he was obliged to go to the City 
to raise money on the Wharf to pay his rent, got it with much 
difficulty and then fetched Miss Sid. They were all three to 
meet when the shopping was over at The Pantheon for dinner. 
But when Lizzy's things were chosen and ordered to be sent to 
Weymouth Street (where she wondered how she was going to 
manage oils because of the smell of them and the size of her 
room) they could not find Gabriel " Of course not," said 
Brown, and they had to wait. He did turn up and they dined 
and then on to tea in Albany Street. Miss Siddal was presented 
to Mrs. Rossetti and Miss Maria ; Miss Christina she had already 
met. Miss Christina was dying to meet Ruskin and Gabriel 
said grandly that Lizzy must bring her to Denmark Hill one 
day soon, before Ruskin went to Switzerland everyone knew 

he was anxious to flee away before the date of . But such 

details must not be mentioned before Mrs. Rossetti. 

The tea-party was stiff. William was away and Christina 
never raised her eyes from her needlework, though Miss Sid 
bravely took no notice and devoted herself to her future mother- 
in-law, who seemed fairly pleased with her. But Gabriel was 
glad when it was time for him to " escort " Miss Siddal home. 

Then, astonishingly, Mrs. Rossetti asked Brown if he would 
not sleep there William's bed was vacant and he soon found 
out why. She wanted to talk with him. The two sisters went 
to bed so that Gabriel's mother and his best friend could sit up 
late into the night talking about Lizzy, of whom one can be 
sure that Brown admitted nothing that was not favourable. 

^Mrs. Rossetti confided to him that her eldest daughter was 
fairly well disposed to Miss Siddal : her younger daughter less 
so. Both had their doubts as to the young woman's orthodoxy. 
Would Mr. Brown kindly take an opportunity of reassuring them 
on that point and herself on some others ? Had he seen any of 
her people? She supposed them to be respectable, though 
tradesmen. Gabriel had a story about a pedigree and would 


have it that they were of as good or better extraction than the 
Rossettis but how could that be ? The Delia Guardias of 
Vasto ! Miss Siddal had not mentioned any of her relations 
to-day, nay, she had rather pointedly avoided the subject* How 
many were they in family ? Had he seen any member of it ? 
Two or three brothers, Brown believed, and two sisters : he 
had once seen Lydia " Lyddy " as they called her of whom 
Lizzy was very fond. There was another one. . . , The old lady 
did not mark Brown's pause and her questions began again. Did 
Gabriel ever go to see them ? She gathered not. It was 
understood, was it not, that these shopkeepers disapproved of 
their daughter marrying an artist ? Absurd ! Artists' models, 
it was well known, had no status whatever and had to sit to 
everyone that paid them, for any part that might be required. 
Thus did Gabriel's mother dismiss Miss Siddal's claims to 
social eligibility. 


On Sunday Rossetti and Miss Siddal came out, " per bus," to 
Finchley and stayed the day and spent the night at the Browns'. 
Gabriel, in his new carefulness for her reputation, took a room 
at the Queen's Head. They had brought with them the packet 
of Ivory Dust for Mrs. Brown to cook, mistrusting the capacities 
of Mrs. Birrell in a matter so complicated. They sat up only 
till two o'clock, and by that time the Browns had heard all 
about it. 

The night before Brown had been having mushrooms for his 
tea and thinking of Death, " a very natural consummation," so 
it seemed to him at the ripe age of thirty-four. His Emma 
had a little trick of running away (taking baby) to her mother's, 
to be fetched back with promises of reform. He was terribly 
hard-up. Emma, distracted by the approaching cataclysm of 
childbirth, had been keeping house ever so much worse than 
usual. And the lease of this beastly but cheap " crib " was up 
and they must move in August ! 

He now thought of going out to India, where, it was said, 
there were fortunes to be made. But the very person who 
suggested it dissuaded him, saying that he was not the man to 
make one. 

The mental anguish suffered by this Titan duly registered in 
his diary (he was a good one to complain) did not prevent him 


from paying the deepest attention to Gabriel telling of how the 
Ruskins were all " delighted with Lizzy," old John James calling 
her " a most noble, glorious creature," and declaring that " by 
her look and manner she might have been born a countess." 
Rossetti had then trotted out the father's story of a lost pedigree 
to show justification for this remark. And in a talk he had with 
Mrs. Ruskin after they had come out of the bedroom and Mr. 
Ruskin was showing Lizzy his pet missal, the old lady, " who was 
known to have much medical knowledge," had cheered him. 
Yes, her son also had been threatened with consumption. Open- 
air sketching had cured him. In Mrs. Ruskin's opinion the 
illness of Miss Siddal was principally weakness. She needed, of 
course, the greatest care if she was to recover. . . . 

How on Earth, Emma said, was the poor thing going to get 
that, living with Rossetti, who had the digestion of an ostrich, 
eating at all sorts of odd hours, travelling backwards and forwards 
between Chatham Place and Weymouth Street at all times of 
the day and night and in any sort of weather ? People in her 
state ought never even to be out after sundown : the damage 
was now more deep-seated than either Gabriel or Mrs. Ruskin 
knew. Why, the old lady had only seen the girl once, dressed 
up, pleased and excited at the novelty of the visit : what should 
she know f 

Brown did not hint at all this to Gabriel, who, even if he 
took a warning to heart, would not observe it for more than a 
day. God send Mrs. Ruskin to be right ! At any rate, something 
was being done. Ruskin had talked of his pet Wales a place 
called Pont y Monach, near Aberystwyth. . . . But Rossetti did 
not think that Miss Siddal would agree to Wales nor did he 
intend her to do so. 

Meanwhile she should be kept quiet and her thoughts con 
tinually occupied. She might work a little indeed she ought 
to be made to draw sometimes " in a dull way from dull things," 
but not wear herself out with " fancies." The Professor made 
her promise to do her best to break off " those disagreeable 
ghostly connections of hers," by which he meant the whole chain 
of morbid notions, the sad death of her first sweetheart and that 
more indurated early one of her handshake with a murderer. 1 
The Professor saw her, perhaps, as she was, avid of sensation of 
many things death-smitten persons snatch at all they can of the 
life they are soon to leave and constitutionally unable to support 

1 She had of course told Mrs. Ruskin of this. 


it when they get their desire " You inventive people pay dearly 
for your powers," he told her. Selfish and self-sacrificing, sweet 
or bad-tempered, according to her daily chart of health, one 
never knew how she would take things ; and it needed all his 
tact to move her even a little one way or another, by com 
pliments and emotional appeals and such like. 

Meantime, when the weather improved it was a cold spring 
why should she not come sometimes and walk in the garden 
at Denmark Hill ? She did not seem to care about that " but 
liked the specially selected luncheon-parties he gave for her. 
Once it seemed unavoidable that she should meet Robert 
Browning and young Frederic Leighton, " if Ruskin couldn't 
manage to put them off to another day/' They would be rather 
too noisy, Browning especially, for Ida as he now called her. 

About this time Gabriel had a psychic experience rare with 
him, so matter of fact, so sensible ! Sitting up late writing to 
William Allingham he was, to his surprise, told loudly (by whom ?) 
that it was three o'clock and " lo, it was horridly light ! " and 
happened to be " the very morning on which he first woke up, 
or fell a-dreaming, or began to be, or was transported for life, or 
whatever it is " twenty-seven years ago. Though he looked 
more he behaved like the boy he was and resented interference. 
They were all managing him too much, even telling him how 
and what to paint. Ruskin wanted him to drop Found, " a 
subject of a pathetic, exciting nature," with which a man like 
Rossetti should not concern himself just now but wait until his 
mentality was better adjusted " to touch the higher chords 
without effort," devoting himself for the present to " drawing 
pretty faces and things involving little thought and no pathos 
at all." 

He had obeyed, 1 but now they were interfering in his affairs 
of the heart too. 

The fellows all were ! 

" Why does he not marry her ? " Brown had entered the 
question in his diary the moment he was told of Mr. Ruskin's 
proposition. Ruskin put it more delicately, asking Gabriel if he 
had any plans " respecting Miss Siddal " which he was prevented 
by " lack of income " from carrying out, and what would be the 

1 " Gabriel has laid aside Found and now paints in water-colour," so says William 
in a note to Scott, the picture's godfather : sure to be annoyed ! 

certain income which would enable him to do so ? His own 
feeling was that it would be best for them to be married, and then 
Rossetti could afford her " the complete care and protection " 
which Victorian conventions would not allow him to give to 
any but his wedded wife. As paymaster, he agreed to Jersey 
for a week or so, and then " If she would only make up her 
mind to take you ! " the young couple could go quietly to Vevey 
for the summer. 

The backwardness was assumed to be on the lady's side, 
though the Professor saw well enough, through the prismatic 
glasses of Heaven's blue with which he surveyed this muddy 
world, that, to Rossetti, full-blooded, voluptuous, this delicate 
creature without ostensible appetites could not seriously, physic 
ally appeal ; and even sensed the derivative, or derivatives, which 
he would presently, if he had not already done so, offer himself. 
So diplomatic, however, was Ruskin that Rossetti believed him 
guiltless of all intention of swaying his judgment and supposed 
himself, 1 throughout negotiations, a cunning Odysseus playing 
with a blind Polyphemus. 


Suddenly something had to be done at once. She got very ill 
and let herself be persuaded. " The wizard is Ruskin, of course," 
Rossetti wrote. But she had not written him the little signed 
promise he had begged for just four words " I will be good " 
and go exactly where he thought suitable, though she did not 
say no to his finding her a nice quiet place, not too dull, " where 
she could pass the time with some pleasure to herself." He had 
her leave to write to his doctor friend at Oxford. 


Incidents such as had promoted the lifelong friendship between 
Acland and Ruskin were of frequent occurrence in the most 
snobbish of Colleges. 2 Long, long ago, when both were under- 

1 He was no judge of character. Later he announced, speaking to George 
Meredith of someone, that he " could not get on with men who were not men of the 
world " ! What about Watts and Hall Caine ? 

2 Dr. Gaisford of Christ Church was perhaps responsible for the tone of the 
College of which he was Head ; being a stickler for aristocratic privileges he would 
never, on principle, let a servitor, however admirable, rise to the rank of student ; 
so that Christ Church was easily the paradise of Noble Tufts, who paid dear for their 
exclusiveness, dining alone at the High Table and their dinner costing them twelve 
shillings as against seven for pretty much the same food eaten " below the salt." 


graduates, young Henry Acland was crossing Tom Quad and 
noticed a noble lord riding a freshman round and round it, as 
the time-honoured custom was. Acland much admired the 
good-humour with which this particular freshman took it and 
realised that John Ruskin, four years younger than he, was 
already a man of the world and a citizen of it, though he 
had never been to a public school. The son of a wine mer 
chant, whose mother made him ridiculous and vulnerable to 
practical joking by insisting on accompanying him to Alma Mater 
and keeping house for him there. She was always present at 
the Wines he gave but the paternal sherry was especially good ! 

Henry Acland was now forty. There was a Mrs. Acland and 
a quiverful of children. He was the busiest man in Oxford. 1 
No respectable person in the county thought of dying without 
him and he would often drive seventy miles a day to reach a death 
bed in time. His fellow-doctors gave him six years more to live, 
at the rate he was going, putting a bit of meat into his mouth 
with one hand and scribbling something with the other at the 
side of his plate, always going somewhere and on to somewhere 
else, and a crowd lying in wait to ask him questions. 

The importation of Rossetti's lady friend, as a man's sweet 
heart was then innocently called, into their midst was another 
job for Mrs. Acland, like reading aloud to chimney-sweeps and 
running Sunday Evenings for undergraduates " Music and 
Quiet Talk from eight till eleven." Hers to keep the patient 
quiet and amused while the doctor had her under observation 
and prove the London one, who had diagnosed one side of her 
lungs seriously affected, to be wrong and save her, and Rossetti's 
aft. For Ruskin, sending specimens of her work, told him (by 
permission) all about the hindrance to the artist's progress involved 
in the illness of this young girl to whom he was so deeply attached, 
and his own fear that the matter would soon be " sealed in 
death." He wanted Acland to examine her and direct her how 
to look after herself, a task at which she seemed singularly incom 
petent ; and then, if he agreed with Ruskin that change of scene 
alone could save her, ascertain where she should be sent. She 
was still too ill to be moved for a few days yet ; he would let 
Acland know when to begin looking for rooms. She would be 
able to pay two pounds a week. 

1 Lee Reader to Christ Church, Physician to the Radclyffe Infirmary and to a 
Royal Prince, Regius Professor, Curator to a Museum or two and owning the largest 
practice in the county, 


Lizzy was honest enough to realise that he who pays the 
piper has a right to call the tune ; but there was a good chance 
of her refusing to go anywhere at all. She desired to go to 
Jersey. But Ruskin dreaded the passage for her he wanted her 
somewhere in England but " the doctor will certainly let you 
see a little sea if you tell him that you like it." There would be 
rocks, and heather too, in Devonshire as well as in the Channel 
Islands. The point was that she should be seen first by Acland. 
She should be quite quiet in her own digs and see no one unless 
she wanted to. Mrs. Acland might trespass on her time for a 
quarter of an hour, but she would not bring her children (Rossetti 
had infected poor Lizzy with his horror of the young). The 
doctor would only want her to put her tongue out once and let 
him feel her pulse . . . that was all. 

Ruskin had taken on himself to engage a room for a week at 
one pound, 1 which was what she could pay. Would she pack 
her things and go at slight notice, for every day was of importance ? 
Could she get one of her sisters to go with her on Monday, when 
he believed the rooms would be ready ? Would she please 
excuse his pressing her in this way ? And he was hers most 
respectfully and, in a pregnant postscript " If one of your sisters 
can't, Rossetti says he will take charge of you to Oxford." 

Neither sister was available or even told ! 

1 To Acland he had said two pounds a week for a fortnight. 



SIDDAL is at Oxford, where Ruskin's friends 
pay her all sorts of attention." So William Rossetti 
to Allingham. 

It was her last excursion out of the dowdy 
night of Bohemia into the day of well-lit rooms, clear, clean 
windows, cheerful wallpapers and modern furniture, a world 
whence dust was banished and objects of virtu relegated to 
their proper place in a museum. She moved as an equal 
among well-groomed, well-behaved men, and women elegant 
and sophisticated. She became acquainted with the famous 
" Oxford manner," the expression in the voice, the gesture, the 
behaviour of people to whom Conduct was three-fourths of life ; 
their " every thought a mental reservation." l 

It was her glittering hour ; she did not make the most of it. 
Too ill, perhaps, and it was a cold summer ! Her lover had 
taken her down, beautifully dressed for travelling, and was proud 
of her before porters. Her room was in George Street, where 
she could be left in peace as she had stipulated, but she was to 
be free of the Aclands' house in Broad Street at all hours of the 
day and, if she had occasion to stay out after dark, the doctor 
would escort her home himself. Gabriel stopped on a couple of 
nights and was asked to go down again for the laying of the first 
stone of the new Museum. He did not accept " because of 
the expense." But he laid the seed of a job for himself and his 
friends. " I am asked by the architect to do some designing 
for the Museum and probably shall." 

After he left, Mrs. Acland did her best to keep the doctor's 
pretty patient amused with a minimum of excitement. She 
took her to some of the Lee Lectures where everyone, when the 
lecture was over, sat at little tables furnished with miniature 
railroads on which ran microscopes, illustrating the lecture or, 
1 Robert Ross, Masques and Faces. 


alternatively, with cups of coffee an idea of the doctor's. There 
were the teas to the chimney-sweeps, after which Mrs. Acland 
and Miss Cardwell usually read aloud. Lizzy did not read, her 
voice was not good enough. But she made herself useful on the 
Evenings for Undergraduates, for she liked youths and, with two 
exceptions, did not care for the older men to whom she was 
introduced Ruskin's tutor Osborne Gordon, with his donnish 
insolence, queer, mocking face and half-closed inscrutable eyes, 
or Dr. Pattison, who came from her part of the country, 1 because 
he sneered so. She did not admire Wynter, who appeared to 
carry his head on a charger like John the Baptist, or Venables, 
whose features had suggested to Hunt those of Christ in The 
Light. She got on well enough with Mr. Dodgson, shy and 
precise : in the words of a German professor of whom she had 
never heard, 2 a " grown-up child," like another man she came 
to be very fond of, Algernon Swinburne, just now being prepared 
for Oxford in his North-country home. " Lewis Carroll " 
sketched Gabriel 3 for her when he came down, and made her 
and the chimney-sweeps laugh and the undergraduates thaw; 
but she was too old for him. Another of her friends was " The 
Common Object," Ruskin's friend, Mr. Wood, who was Bible 
Clerk at Merton and pricked attendances at Chapel and dined 
on remnants from the High Table, going about alone and 
dressing so shabbily that he came to have a nickname out of his 
own book. 4 

The Aclands, to please Ruskin, introduced her to their friends 

" in the most exclusive quarters. 35 Probably she shook hands 

with Prince Leopold. The great ladies of Oxford, to oblige 

their dear doctor, called or left cards upon the favourite model 

of the man whose art Ruskin was gradually making the fashion. 

Oxford drawing-rooms, beginning with Dr. Acland's own, began 

to show signs of P.R.B. culture. Ruskin spoke of Miss Siddal's 

own work in the same breath as that of Turner, Watts and 

Millars. Mrs. Ffoulkes, wife of the Principal of Jesus, a professed 

Jacobite whose mother, Lady Isabella Lumsden, had hidden the 

Pretender under her hoop and made white cockades for him when 

he held his Court in Edinburgh, sent for Miss Siddal to her house 

in Sk Giles' and insisted on a rehearsal of the pedigree, which 

she did not absolutely pooh-pooh. Hunt's " perfect lady/' the 

wife of Dr. Combe, Superintendent of the University 'Press, 

, . f 7 2 Novalis. * where is that sketch now ? 

Common Objects of the Country-side, by J. G. Wood. 


By kind permission of Harold Hart ley t Esg. 

From a drawing by D. G. Rossetd 

had kindly fetched Miss Siddal out to Abingdon to spend the 
day, but the conversation, connected with Hunt and Millais 
(not Deverell, whom Mrs. Combe also had known), was not 
particularly acceptable to Miss Siddal. She had to listen all over 
again to the record of P.R.B. determination to paint from the 
real thing. Well she knew it the cold bath that had nearly 
killed her ! Mrs. Combe had been told that Miss SiddaPs father, 
a " local auctioneer," had brought an action against the young 
painter claiming fifty pounds for the injury to his daughter's 
health, but that Millais had settled the matter by paying the 
doctor's bill and that she herself had admitted that she was 
none the worse for the chill. Nothing of the kind. 1 Her 
father had never brought any action, he was not an auctioneer, 
he had never lived in Oxford. She had a relation an auctioneer, 
but he lived in Sheffield. That was probably how the mistake 
arose. She was perfectly polite, but her voice took on its slight 
sibilant hiss. What would have interested her was Millais 5 letters 
about Walter Deverell's illness and death, that Mrs. Combe did 
not think of showing to her guest. Lizzy could not get her to 
take the slightest interest in the subject. Walter had died in 
Millais' arms, indifferent to those of Gabriel. But now, Lizzy 
did not wonder at that. 

She was happiest with the Puseys, and from them " got 
religion," which served her to die with. 

This man (whose life's tragedy was consumption too) and his 
sisters were the persons she saw most of during her stay. There 
is a freemasonry between those suffering from the same disability ; 
their complexes reach out one to the other ; their lot is amelior 
ated where there is no priority in suffering or invidious com 
parisons to be made between persons languishing in a common 

Edward Bouverie Pusey, like herself, was an aristocrat ; Ms 
father* the Honourable Philip Bouverie Pusey, his mother a 
Harborough. Their son was a broken-hearted man who had 

1 Yet the Ophelia legend seems to bear the stamp of truth at any rate. 
Allingham thought so ! In a letter written from Ireland about McCracken, the 
artistic ship-packer of Belfast and his complaint : " He says he is ruined by his 
purchase of Ophelia ; surely he did not lose by it ? Now he goes throwing cold 
water on her who had too much." 

L 145 

loved at eighteen, married at twenty-eight, and lost at thirty- 
nine. His wife had died of the disease of the age ; she too 
came of a family all of whom suffered more or less from " a chest 
affection." She had borne him five daughters and a son. Little 
Lucy and Harriet and Eleanor died in the same year they were 
born. Elizabeth and Charlotte, respectively Mrs. Luxmoore 
and Mrs. Cotton, survived. Until they were old enough to keep 
house for him, his mother, though she had a house of her own 
in Grosvenor Square, managed the large house in Christ Church 
as much of it as the widower could be persuaded to use. The 
drawing-room his wife had died there and it could not be 
used. The bedroom he could never be persuaded to re-enter, 
or the garden. 1 The study had been re-papered : it hurt him 
to see, covered, the paper she had chosen. . , . 

The Pusey ladies received Miss Siddal's return call most 

graciously and one of the sisters took a fancy to her. Lady 

Lucy, who drank green tea and dressed in the old-fashioned 

style, 2 amused Miss Siddal very much by alluding to her son as 

Ed'ard, and saying " ooman " for woman and " t'other." Lady 

Lucy liked little Miss Siddal quite well and would complain of 

Ed'ard to the sympathetic, well-bred girl, saying that neither 

she nor Charlotte could ever get him to dress himself properly. 

Certainly he was untidy ; his necktie always limp and his face 

suggesting the use of a blunt razor. The long mouth set in 

whiskers all round and under the chin reminded Lizzy of a 

ploughshare lying in high grass, but his eyes were fine and he 

would have been a personable man had he not been so slovenly. 

He talked to the young stranger of his dead wife, recognising 

in the one, perhaps, the taint which had killed the other. " To 

save her I would have given up anything, gone anywhere. . . . 

But God's will be done ! " And, getting up stiffly, showed the 

young girl a part of the wall in the corner of the room where he 

had secretly, as a prisoner files away his bars, scraped off the new 

paper, to disclose a bit of the old that she had known. 

He had no small-talk, but with him, Miss Siddal seemed to 
have plenty. Whenever she went to call on Miss Pusey, he 
would ^ get her alone and ask her embarrassing questions about 
her spiritual convictions, but so sweetly and decently that she 
could not resent it. Miss Pusey told her that all women looked 

1 The smell of verbena always affected him because he had offered Miss Barker 
a sprig of it when he proposed in the garden of Fairford Place. 

2 She affected that and is said to have maintained the last sedan chair in London. 


upon Edward as a Father Confessor and came immense distances 
in flies, getting themselves set down at his door, for interviews, 
and some of them he persuaded to go to Clewer. He now, 
since procreation had turned out so ill for him, advocated the 
excellence of the state of virginity. He did not even realise that 
Miss Siddal was an engaged woman. 

She liked his sermons in the Cathedral, to which the under 
graduates flocked, sometimes walking there with him across the 
quad, past the terrace with its flight of steps and border wall of 
grey, Cornish granite. She knew why he kept his eyes on the 
pavement : his wife lay buried in the nave of the building to 
which they were going and he had followed her body to its last 
rest there. He would never forget the blear shroud over her 
coffin, floating in the wind, and even now, durst not look up 
lest a vision of that hour came before him. It was an effort to 
go to church at all that day and, no sooner had he preached than, 
as the hymn began, he seemed to drop down in the pulpit, out of 
sight, nor could she expect to see him again that day. 


In the beginning of June Miss Pusey took her down to Cleve- 
don, in Somersetshire, a new watering-place, a mile from the 
sea. No pier, no parade, on the west marshy, on the south and 
east hilly and beautiful ; with the usual views. From Cadbury 
Camp you could see the Mendips and the mountains of Glamor 
ganshire. She could sit on the shore and look westwards 
across the Bristol Channel to Penarth (where is now the wilderness 
of masts and funnels of Barry Dockyard). The water is hardly 
brackish, but it looks like sea, and shallow, with verdure nearly 
down to the water's edge, so that the landscape with its fairy 
colours, its vivid but poisonous yellows and greens, reminded 
her of a picture of Gabriel's she liked Two Women at the 

She managed to " keep herself alive " in the usual way, going 
out to sea in a boat now and then, until Midsummer Day, when 
Rossetti came from London to fetch her back, taking a room at 
the inn for a few days. He was bored, perturbed and restless, 
so that one day he got up at six in the morning, for the first and 
last time in his life, too early even to go to breakfast with Miss 
Siddal, as he told William Allingham in a letter written in the 
hotel parlour to pass the time till she came down. Liz was now, 


he said, able to take long excursions on donkeyback to a certain 
ditch where she could dig up golden flags for the balcony at 
Chatham Place. The donkey boy, said Gabriel, had asked if 
there were lions in the place she came from, for he was sure she 
came from very far away, much farther than he could see ! 
" There's your fairy for you ! " (He did not tell Allingham 
that the local people called her " outlandish/') 

She herself was not communicative about her time in Oxford, 
neither then nor ever. She said that everyone was very kind, 
even trying to get her to settle there. Perhaps everyone meant 
Miss Pusey ? But nothing and no one, she said, would induce 
her to do that. 

Ruskin, reading between the lines, felt it necessary to write 
to Acland later to say that, " however that wilful girl may have 
behaved," her heart was in the right place. That she was not 
ungrateful, he was sure, but " sick and sickly headstrong." . . . 
What was it she did or did not do there which made it 
incumbent on her sponsor to apologise for her ? " Sorry for 
what you tell me about Oxford." Sins of omission rather than- 
sins of commission ? The Warden of New, a great swell, asked 
her to his own house to show her a blackbeetle painted by 
Albrecht Diirer, intending to fetch up a real one as his wont was, 
from the kitchen to compare with it. But she never went ! 
That sort of thing. Perhaps it was her way of dressing ? Nothing 
like bad manners or dereliction in her devoirs to the Aclands at 
any rate. Before she left she made them accept a little drawing, 
representing a church among the mountains, " a strange and 
somewhat weird arrangement of colour ! " so Oxford, in the main, 
thought. But Miss Sarah Angelina Acland said that her father 
was very glad to have it and considered it a most remarkable 
piece of work, marvelling much that a girl " brought up within 
a street or two of The Elephant and Castle," should have selected 
such a subject and have been able to execute it from pure 
imagination. A Cockney, Miss Siddal had never been in the 
country before, so far as she knew. 

Perhaps her laches was nothing worse than disobedience to 
Dr. Acland's orders, but Ruskin's diatribes have a very special 
bitterness. " These geniuses are all alike ! " He had known 
five of them, Turner and Watts and Millais and Rossetti " and 
now this girl ! " 

There is no clue to this outburst. The doctor declares that 
Miss Siddal was " a kindly, gentle person," not beautiful but 


" known to everybody as Rossetti's favourite model." 1 But he 
did not, obviously, " take " to her. To Ruskin he wrote rather 
stiffly that it " had been a great pleasure to him to be of service 
to Miss Siddal." In another letter he gave Ruskin his diagnosis 
the result of the one grudging examination which Miss Siddal 
had promised to permit and had permitted embodying his own 
private observations of her habit as she lived. His verdict, 
given coldly and as it were without interest, was fairly favourable ; 
the young lady's lungs were not fatally affected. She had no 
" really inarrestable, infixed disease " even, as yet. 

The cause of it all was " power long pent up " (in the Old Kent 
Road, perhaps) " and now over-taxed." There was nothing else 
for it ; she must cease work and be absolutely idle for the present. 
Just what the other two doctors, Wilkinson and Hailes of 
Hastings, had said, and she had taken absolutely no notice, but 
worked on, spurred by her artist's vanity and Ruskin's encourage 
ment. In these last few fevered months she, so conscientious, 
so honourable, was trying to make good ! . . . 

Mr. Ruskin must not force on this clever pupil of his any 
more, but concentrate on getting her out of England away 
from Rossetti for the winter, if he wanted to preserve her life. 

But those who had known her during these five years that she 
had been going about with Rossetti and had sampled her strange, 
wild obstinacy, never believed that the Professor would get his 
way unless, indeed, her equally strong sense of decency prompted 
her that she owed him obedience in return for kindness. And 
she was as anxious as anyone to avoid all appearance of pauper 
isation, and was working herself to the bone so near the surface 
already in order to procure at least some of the money to defray 
her travelling expenses and get some of her own way as to 

Her wintering in all sorts of places was spoken of. Algiers 
but she feared earthquakes, in Africa ! Switzerland but she 
loathed Switzerland, its pink sunsets and eternal snows : she was 
a Cockney with a Cockney's ideals. Paris was what she wanted 
(and got using all the determinative power of quiet persons) 
Paris with its Boulevards to wander up and down, its Rue de la 
Paix like Regent Street, only better, and the Great Exhibition. 

1 So Sir Henry's biographer. 




/WAS born to conceive what I cannot execute, to recom 
mend what I cannot obtain and mourn over what I 
cannot save" 
This had been Ruskin's cry of incompetence in the 
case of Effie, the young girl whom he took young in order to 
train as a wife. In the case of Lizzy, a less intimate charity, 
he had recommended what he could not procure from this 
obstinate personality the adoption of a given scheme of salvage. 
It was his own evil hour. 

On the 3 ist of May William Rossetti wrote to William Ailing- 
ham that Millais was immediately about to marry Mrs. Ruskin 
that it was no secret, everybody knew it, and Ruskin knew 
that they did and had not been able to settle down at all, 
although so far back as April he had written, " the worst of it 
for me has long been past," in a letter to Lizzy herself, the 
wooden woman whom he trusted because he so respected her. 
He knew " how difficult it was to be brave " when one was ill. 
Himself, on this very day of writing, " could have sat down and 
cried heartily." 

He went down to Tunbridge Wells, where lived a relation, 
William Richardson, unsympathetic in a soothing way. He 
dropped Modern Painters, though he kept his engagement at 
God knows what cost, for he had no means of ascertaining whether 
Effie and Lady Eastlake might not think fit and proper to again 
form part of the audience to give the Third Lecture, addressed 
to Workmen in the Decorative Trades, of the course which he 
had begun. But he did no more public speaking for three years 
after that, giving his father's and mother's Puritanical dislike 
for this form of activity (both his parents considered lecturing 
little better than play-acting) as an excuse. 

By June he was too ill to examine Rossetti's poems " properly " : 
by July he could neither see nor speak. This month John 
Everett Millais married Euphemia Chalmers Gray, daughter of 

George Gray, Esquire, Writer, Perth, in the drawing-room at 
Bowerswell, where John Ruskin, six years ago, had stood at her 
side to be married. 

The notice of the wedding somehow got itself in among the 
Deaths in The Leader. 

" Ruskin is in the country, unwell" So Rossetti to Allingham. 
But the absent benefactor was still mindful of his protege and 
was sending " a Stunner called Waterford " to call on the painter 
that very afternoon. " There, Sir ! " 

Miss Siddal was sleeping alone all through this hot midsummer 
in Chatham Place. Gabriel, desperately afraid of the cholera 
still hanging about, had taken a bedroom at the Queen's Head 
nearly opposite Brown's, and was working by day in The 
Hermitage 1 studio which Mr. and Mrs. Howitt as usual had 
given him leave to use while they were away. 

And it was here, according to his old friend Scott, that he 
denied her before men. 

Scott, who had passed through the more terrible forms of 
the cholera epidemic in Newcastle working with little Swin 
burne on death-carts and in hospitals to cure himself of the 
consequent " fit of the dismals," came up to town. He called 
on Rossetti in Chatham Place but " found him away and Miss 
Siddal in bed." So Mrs. Birrell giving Mr. Scott ideas. . . . 
Mr. Rizzetty was at Hampstead he would find him at the 
Queen's Hotel or The Hermitage, she didn't know which. 

He walked over to The Hermitage that evening and rang the 
house bell. Informed that Mr. and Mrs. Howitt were away he 
inquired for Mr. Rossetti. The maid, without troubling to go 
with him, pointed out a building at the bottom of the garden to 
which access was gained by a flight of rustic steps leading to the 
studio, where she said Mr. Rossetti was. 

Mr. Scott's experience 2 and his deductions therefrom are best 
given in Mr. Scott's own words : 

1 The Hermitage was doomed : a row of villas were to be erected on its site and, 
anyway, according to Miss Smith and Miss Coutts, it would have been insanitary 
to go on living there because of the projected extension of Highgate Cemetery down 
the hill, for the houses at the bottom would get all the graveyard drainage. They 
were all fighting it and the Howitts had taken a house farther up the hill. 

2 It led to a storm of vituperation from the champion of Miss Siddal, vocal 
and able to use the medium of the Press. " The New Terror " in the Fortnightly 

" I found myself in the romantic dusk of the apartment face 
to face with Rossetti and a lady whom I did not recognise, and 
could scarcely see. He did not introduce her ; she rose to go. 
I made a little bow, which she did not acknowledge ; and she left. 
This was Miss Siddal. Why he did not introduce me to her I 
cannot say. Perhaps the maid should have called him instead of 
allowing me to invade the studio without warning ; she may have 
even done it for a lark ; for myself, I had not yet heard of such a 
person as Miss Siddal." (He must have.) " Perhaps Rossetti was 
already beginning to revise his intention of marriage ; an even 
way of life the most unlikely possible to suit his late develop 
ment/' l 

A more probable explanation of Rossetti's failure to introduce 
his sweetheart to his friend is forthcoming. The " Great 
Italian " doing his best to behave in " the Inferno of England " 
had to consider England's prejudices, and the most rampant of 
them all at that time were the almost purdah-like arrangements 
for the claustration of women. 

Scott was an arrant gossip. The lateness of the hour, 
the need for chaperonage would never enter the head of a 
Bohemian, but what would Mrs. Ruskin in Camberwell and 
Mrs. Acland in Oxford, who had chaperoned Miss Siddal so 
carefully while she was there, think of her being caught sitting 
all alone with her young man in the dark, in the greenhouse let 
us call it of a house in Hampstead while the mistress of it was 
out of town ? He probably hoped that Scott, who had never 
set eyes on Lizzy, would suppose the female with him to be a 
model whom one need not, as a rule, introduce. He had just 
given her the chance to slip quietly out which she had taken. 

It is possible that Gabriel did not even know what Scott knew, 

and " The Poison of the Parasite " which appeared in the Athenaum (without its 
provocative title and with some of the strongest epithets left out) were penned in 
the days when the publishing of personal memoirs after Death was a new terror. 

The infinitely little ghosts 

Of sprats deceased on unknown coasts, 
And many a long putrescent prawn 

Preserved unfit for human victuals. 

Prince ! Lord of flies and rhymester's spawn 
That scarce deserves a strong man's spittle. 

Beelzebub, thou hast in pawn 
Less than the infinitely little. 

1 Autobiography of W. B. Scott. 

I 5 2 

that the perverse creature was at the moment choosing to occupy 
his bed in Chatham Place, and that the housekeeper had betrayed 
her. Scott was dead against her from that moment. 

" She began to think herself a genius too and, did small, quaint, 
quasi-poetical imitations of his works. . . . And then, her health 
not being good, by Ruskin's assistance she went to Mentone" 

She was to stop in Paris one night passing through. Rossetti, 
writing to Brown to inform him of the final plan, gave her a longer 
term there, feeling sure she would take it. But she " must try 
to get to the south before the cold sets in." 

A drawing which he had on the stocks would, Rossetti estimated, 
bring in about ten or fifteen pounds, which was for Guggums. 
But he owed (?) her twenty pounds already, and when the 
Lancelot was finished, twelve pounds had to go for the rent of 
Chatham Place where he was not even, for the moment, sleeping. 
All the same, she must have ten pounds clear in hand before she 
left London, to set " her dear mind at ease about her finances " 
and " save dangerous transmissions." So, " under the circs," 
will Brown oblige with a loan of ten or fifteen pounds which 
Gabriel does not doubt he will be able to pay back in a few weeks ? 
Indeed Brown may absolutely depend on it ; the sum destined 
for Gug would go to him automatically. And he is painting 
" her dear face " for Guenevere. 

A good deal of lip-service ; it connoted a certain shameful 
sense of relief? Brown thought that Gabriel knew he was going 
to get on better, with Lizzy away. 

Brown did oblige ; he had now the wherewithal. Rossetti and 
others had made the " dangerous discovery " that he now owned 
a cheque-book and that his cheques were honoured all right. So 
one day in June, when Emma, worn out by privation and child- 
bearing, had " begun the day by quarrelling " and again run away 
as far as St. Paul's Terrace to her mother's, taking Cathy and the 
baby with her, Brown was able to seal the reconciliation with a 
bracelet of " gold mosaic," as a result of Rossetti's and the 
fellows', waylaying old White the picture-dealer, catching him 
boozed at a Promenade Concert and forcing him to pop in at 
Brown's and buy the little Brent for forty pounds, and then 
another picture for a hundred-and-twenty. 


Gabriel called on the Brownings in Dorset Street they were 
on the wing for the South, all the delicate women were being 
sent off to avoid what came to be known as the Crimean Winter 
so as to be able to give Lizzy a letter to them, later on, in Florence, 
if she went there. He was rewarded by an appreciative slap on 
the back from " robustious Robert," who quoted to him some of 
" that 'ere Blessed, Damozel " of his and invited him to come and 
hear Tennyson read on one of two successive days at his house. 
Gabriel himself began to itch for Paris, where the Brownings 
would be till Christmas. . . . 

Lizzy was not well enough to travel alone : a chaperon-escort 
must be procured so that he could run over to see her and have 
a look at the Exhibition. He thought of a relation of his own 
on his mother's side his only English quartering, a Pierce, 
married to a sharp and busy solicitor, who had his office not 
far from Chatham Place and often joined Gabriel for the meal 
which he so detested taking alone. Mrs. Kincaid was a matronly 
sort of person of forty and upwards. She was brought by 
arrangement to tea in Chatham Place to make Miss SiddaPs 
acquaintance. Lizzy took a dislike to him at once to his wife, 
unfortunately, not till later. 

Ruskin was due home but contrived not to set foot on British 
soil until Lizzy was well off it. He came back two days after 
she had gone. Of all the proteges, Gabriel and Lizzy (yet in his 
bitterness he was never unjust to her) were the most unsatisfactory 
and came very near to breaking the heart of the man whose mind 
and thought fell, like crystals, into certain mathematical patterns. 
His own magnetism made no way with one or the other. He 
could never laugh at them, and when Gabriel permitted himself 
to send growling letters, reacted unpleasantly. And his long 
talks with the sturdy Carlyle were disturbing the Protestantism 
which was sanity's sheet-anchor for the weaker man. 

According to that quiet, subtle observer, Gabriel's brother, 
it was now that the first taint of morbidity (as he calls it) showed 
itself in Ruskin, coinciding with the change in his religious belief. 
Burying his head in a tuft of grass " on a battlefield * wet with 
blood," he would lie and hear as in a shell the sound of the sea, 
" the cry of the earth about him continually." He saw ghosts. 
He took to reading novels, valuing them " because of the unknown 

1 In the Vaudois. 


growth of souls, in and through any form of misery and servitude ; 
there is an infinity of what men should be told." 


Old Mrs. Rossetti was at Hastings, William abroad and Maggie 
,at Muritham, so there need be no family good-byes. Brown did 
ask Christina to call and bid God-speed to her future sister-in- 
law crossing the Channel was a serious event in those days and 
she professed herself willing " But I do not encourage her to/' 
Gabriel said. 

Miss Siddall's own family . . . but she did not encourage that. 
She was savagely determined not to inflict her family on him, as 
a counter to his backwardness in making her known to his. This 
was the ground of some of their worst quarrels, taken with the 
denial of their engagement, which had made her so ill last year, 
and the allowing her to slink out of the studio at The Hermitage 
without being introduced to his greatest friend. 

However, there was no quarrelling in these last days she was 
so pleased and excited about her first trip to the Continent. 
She had always before her pale eyes the mirage of Paris ; through 
Paris only did she feel able to envisage the prescribed push south 
wards. On the Friday night before she left England she actually 
consented to take him to her home. 

A bus to The Elephant and a walk southwards along the 
country roads of her childhood now, because of the new building 
rage that had set in in South London a few years after she was 
born, considerably built over, most of the Hatches closed and the 
greenness of the spinneys gone till they came to The Bricklayers' 
Arms. Then, for Gabriel, it began to be terra incognita. Past 
The Swan with its appropriate sign and The World Turned 
Upside Down, with its " watering " for horses, the trough and 
the bit of green gravel in front. When they came to the Asylum 
for the Blind, where sat the horribly mutilated man to whom 
Gabriel tossed a penny, and had passed the two turnings on the 
opposite side, Thomas Street and John Street, they were in the 
very heart of her complex and, sure enough, she began to talk 
of it. 

Mr. Greenacre was an immensely tall man dressed like a farmer, 
" fish-faced 3> Annie always said, with a big slopperty mouth and 
very bright eyes, but Lizzy could remember nothing but the 
feel of his hand clammy ! Annie had actually been with her 

mother to his shop he was a grocer and sold tea, mixed with 
sloes the people said, sweets and a kind of special rock called 
Amalgamated Candy, made of cloves, cinnamon, lemon and 
peppermint. Somewhere quite near was Carpenter's Buildings, 1 
the very place in which Hannah Brown had been murdered a 
week before her wedding-day to this man. He was wealthy, 
they said, landlord of Number Eight and three other cottages 
in Jane Place, two tenements in Carpenter's Place and eight 
in Bowyer Lane. But, although he was rich, he did it all 
for the sake of the woman's savings. Though she was only a 
laundress living in one room with her mangle, she had four 
hundred pounds and jewellery 2 which fetched a hundred. 
Greenacre made her sell it to buy her trousseau and she went to 
Carpenter's Place (where he lived with another woman and her 
child), to be married thence. She was murdered there instead. 

Wilkinson had said that it was good for Lizzy to talk about this, 
and the temperamental washerwoman and her epileptic murderer 
interested Gabriel, and the circumstances, squalid and romantic, 
in which the murder was committed on the night when snow 
fell continuously for five days and five nights and the whole 
of England was covered by a white cloak under which ill deeds 
can be done as conveniently as in a dark one. As the poor girl 
murmured of her obsession, he felt the soft flakes on his fore 
head : saw the fresh red bloodstains on the snow, the murderer 
padding along on his balled shoes of silence, heard his heavy, 
labouring breath that created a bloody aureole of mist about 
him as he disposed of portions of the body here and there, the 
legs in the osier bed at Cold Harbour, the trunk in the Lock 
Fields, and the head, that had caught in every weir between 
Stepney and Paddington by its matted hair, with its helpless, 
shapeless mouth that never now could say " I will " this head 
had the^ absurdest peregrinations. Wrapped in a bag, it was 
under his arm as he called on Hannah Brown's landlady to say 
there would be no wedding " indefinitely postponed." Getting 
into the* Camberwell bus he had betrayed the murderer's addled 
inconsequence, and nearly fainted when the conductor asked for 
the fare " Sixpence a head ! " 

She had made Gabriel read the descriptions of Hannah 
Brown, forty, high-chested, with large thin hands and a split 
ear whence a fellow-servant had once wrenched an earring; 

1 Renamed. 

2 Probably stolen. She had been housemaid to Lord Woodhouse in Norfolk 

I 5 6 

silly and vain, killed in a smart pea-green dress, some of her 
wedding finery. " A strange-tempered woman/' said her land 
lady, volunteering an account of Hannah's physical conformation 
which led to identification and, the woman said, distressed 
Hannah so much " For trees that don't bud, don't bear fruit ! " 

Pretty Sarah Gale loved him and had to be given morphia in 
her cell so that she should not hear the yells of execration that 
greeted his appearance outside Newgate. She heard and 
fainted. She was not allowed to see him after he was dead 
He left her his spectacles. 

An interesting degenerate Greenacre; a bit of an actor, 
staging the usual remorse and half-feigned terror of retribution. 
He attended service a few days after the deed and, coming out 
of the cold into the warm Chapel and seeing the candles flaming 
in the misty damp with their light concentrated round about the 
altar, cried out from his pew " My God ! Hell's on fire ! " 1 
falling straightway " into a stupor." Nobody suspected him of 
having much more than ordinary on his conscience and they were 
used to epileptic subjects in those days. 

When they came to Number Eight, Lizzy, telling Gabriel to 
sit down, went to the foot of the stairs and called. Gabriel chose 
to nourish an indefinable yet delightful feeling that they were all 
the time being watched that someone was there besides the 
canary that hung in the window fidgeting in its cage, neatly 
peeling its seed. . . . Then Lizzy came back and, in the twilight, 
her hair seemed to go white and she looked like a ghost herself, 
sitting squeezed up in her father's armchair, still and self-con 
tained, not even starting when there was the noise of a key in 
the lock. He was sorry when Lyddy walked in and said, with 
out listening to their explanations about the back door, that 
They had all gone to the play and would not come out till the 
end, unless mother got one of her faints. No, she had never 
had any letter ; but she would make them some tea at once. 

While she was in the kitchen Lizzy rose and, from the whatnot 
near the corner where he kept his fiddle, took out her father's 
music-book, handsomely bound in leather and engraved with his 
name and .his Arms three birds and the word " Honour." 
From the wall she lifted down a heavy china plaque, showing 
the family coat of arms, per bend and gules and an eagle dis 
played. This family, she explained, with whom the Siddalls 

1 The man had been an actor. " I think the devil will not have me damned lest 
the oil that is in me should set hell on fire." Falstaff in The Merry Wives. 


had intermarried, dated from a Knight of Beely in Henry Ill's 
time, a much older family. The head of that family again was 
the Duke of Rutland. Then, out of a drawer in a Flemish 
cabinet (that Rossetti meant to have some day) she produced 
a piece of brownish parchment purporting to be a document 
granting the Freedom whatever that might mean ? of the 
City of Sheffield to Christopher Siddall in 1792. Also the 
marriage certificate of Charles Crookes Siddall and Elizabeth 
Elenor Evans, married by banns in the Parish Church of Hornsey 
in the year one thousand eight hundred and twenty-four. 

Gabriel forbade Lyddy to light the lamp, and they three sat 
together in the gloaming until it was time to go back. He 
enjoyed the quiet, the neutrality of the surroundings, the 
presence of a few " good " things such as the Flemish cabinet 
and the one or two nice bits of pewter that, beautifully polished, 
hung on the walls and shone in the temperate gloom. He was 
pleased, so he wrote to Brown, to find Lizzy's " native crib " so 

Just before they left a girl came in, unexpected by Lizzy he 
could see, and perhaps by Lyddy ? Tall, dark, shy and yet 
sophisticated looking, with a queer permanent frown. Her hair 
was dyed and scented ; the carmine of her lips aided by art, she 
made the other two girls look immature and faded. . . . 

" My sister known as Tump ! " Lizzy introduced her. 




Kincaids dined in Chatham Place on the Saturday 
night and Mrs. Kincaid slept there, so as to be in good 
time for the early start at seven. 

On a cold rimy morning in September the two women 
drove to the docks to take steamer for Havre. Lizzy had, thanks 
to Brown, forty pounds in hand which must take her, when she 
had rested, to the South and must last her till the first of 
November, when she would receive another forty from Rossetti, 
who meant to work like the devil. He did not begin that day, 
full of that peculiar thwarted feeling which sets in for the one 
who is left behind in the emptied room, with the brown paper 
strewn about and the mark of the cabman's dirty boots on the 
stairs. Mr. McLennan of Inverness, calling, found him on his 
back, waving his legs about in the air and " Mon-Dieuing ! " 
McLennan disapproved and set it down against him. 

Later, Gabriel roused himself and did a good action. Getting 
hold of Browning he took him to see Brown, who was grateful 
and called him " Gabby," as he always did when pleased with 
him though his fifteen pounds was still in abeyance and he 
knew " Gabby " was in funds just now for Ruskin had sold 
Rachel and, Leah (for which Rossetti had not dared to ask him 
more than twenty-six pounds) to Miss Heaton for forty. The 
twenty-six would have more than covered Brown's loan. " At 
this rate he will soon get rich perhaps even pay what he owes ? " 
Brown complained, with the clumsy sarcasm of the large-minded. 
He disapproved of the immoral arrangement between Ruskin 
and Rossetti and Miss Siddal Ruskin acting as dealer for both 
as well as subsidising them. This relation between the artist 
and patron was debilitating to the moral fibre of Rossetti, already 
sufficiently relaxed. And she, Brown thought, was beginning 
to exhibit some of the off-handedness of the pensioned, willing 
to take all she could from Ruskin without the exchange of 

Ida she is to go South immediately. . . . Paris will kill 
her or ruin her, like Sir Dean Paul's bank." 1 I cannot have you going 
to Paris or near Ida at all until you have finished Miss Heatotfs 

Ruskin had only approved Miss Siddal's stopping more than 
one night in Paris in order that she should, as she had promised, 
go and make friends with the Brownings. " What the devil 
else was she to go there for except for that ? " Well, she must 

stay on in Paris if she chose, but he would be d d if he would 

help Rossetti to cross the Channel till she was safely got off to the 
South. He attempted to play on Rossetti's presupposed jealousy 
of him and other men " Positively, if you go to Paris, / will ! " 
And kept them rather short of money and was unhelpful about 
the mode of sending it. Rossetti had better ask at some of the 
money-lenders' in Leicester Square. He always did it through 
his bank but he didn't choose " to be heard of" as sending to 
Paris in the matter. Neither would he bother Browning. 
Rossetti knows B. well enough and must write himself, " and 
that's flat." Relenting, he admits to being " ill-tempered." 
" You are such a very odd creature and that's a fact ! " Poor 
fellow, he may want some money for himself, but " I am incon 
venienced for the moment." 

Rossetti did want some for himself his fare to Paris but he 
didn't like being " poor-fellowed " and the idea of Ruskin pre 
tending to be hard up ! He did not in the least mind being called 
an " odd creature " of course he must so appear to a " fiddle- 
faddle " like J. R., just now " mighty poorly," prone to feverish 
nights, going early to bed on toast and water and physic. 

Lizzy knew she was being naughty, but intended to remain so. 
She had written to Ruskin suggesting that he should drop the 
payment of her allowance now that her ill-health and absence 
from England prevented her giving a due equivalent. He 

brushed this aside she and Rossetti were a couple of 

Words seemed to have failed him; still, he would go on 
" thinking for them both." 

And Rossetti would go on taking Ruskin's money and his own 
way when the time came. He was not going to let the Exhibition 
close without his seeing it. He would run over presently with 
Munro or Scott. . . . 

1 A very notable failure of the time. The felons were deported to Cayenne. 


He was banking on a drawing Ruskin had commissioned for 
Miss Heaton and on another for Miss Bell. For, from the 
North hard-bitten, rough-hewn, intense came the liveliest 
patronage of their art that could be looked for by the Pre- 
Raphaelites. Miss Heaton of Bingley near Leeds, the daughter 
of one of the enterprising and go-ahead purveyors of ugliness 
there : Miss Bell of Winnington near Liverpool, where she had 
founded a school for the daughters of the Captains of Industry, 
forced to live and rear up their families, like a landscape painter, 
alongside of his " subject " these two ladies, through Ruskin, 
who commanded both, were Rossetti's best buyers at this time. 
Of Miss Bell, brilliant and clever, powerful and masterful, Ruskin 
was the all-round hero " no subject in the world too high or 
too low for him to deal with." His to arrange for their local 
anaesthetic, telling them when and where to buy these oblongs 
and squares of captured colour and stabilised light, holding up 
before their sad, smoke-bleared eyes, like Perseus, the shield- 
mirror in which they might envisage the Gorgon's Head and 
survive in a land fouled by the disjecta, clouded by the smoke of 
its fires, soured by the acrid steam of its blasting and welding. 

Full of ruth at the sight of the amenities of their famous beauty 
spots, desecrated by their own hands, these Masters of Mines and 
Factories were being persuaded by Ruskin and other aesthetic 
Jeremiahs crying in the wilderness of slag, to make themselves 
at least Houses Beautiful in its midst, giving Beauty, which 
they had sacrificed to utility, a refuge within four walls covered 
with representations of what lay outside no longer. Ruskin, 
abetting this thwarted instinct for romance, had recommended 
strongly the work of Rossetti and his sweetheart. Her aspect 
was by now familiar to Miss Bell and Miss Heaton, as Princess 
Sabra watching St. George kill the dragon playing the harp 
in Dante's Dream gathering buttercups as Matilda, weeping as 
Guenevere at the tomb of King Arthur. Alas, they never knew 
when they bought a picture if they would be allowed to keep it, 
for Ruskin served them as a man of his generation would serve 
innocent ladies who ventured on the manly sport of picture- 
buying, " making " the price for this or that gem, arbitrarily 
forcing exchanges. . . , 1 

1 Miss Heaton had ordered a Beatrice of Rossetti, but Ruskin wanted it for 
himself or someone else and made her, instead, take a Paolo and Francesca, or a 
water-colour replica of Rachel and Leah. 




u You worft go to Paris, I am sure, when you know that I, 
seriously, don't think it right," wrote the Professor to Gabriel* 

Well, but in November, when Lizzy had been gone some six 
weeks, she wrote to Gabriel to tell him to come and bring her 
some money. She could not leave, actually, for want of funds. 
Then Gabriel showed that he could work at that pinch and began 
a fresh picture in three compartments, sat up all night and 
finished it in a week. It was so perfectly beautiful that Ruskin 
came, saw, was conquered and acquired it from the artist for 
thirty-five pounds down. Letting Miss Heaton and her 
requirements slide he sent Gabriel off to Paris with his blessing 
to release Lizzy and The Incubus out of the hands of creditors 
" They will have more debts than they say ; people are always 
afraid to say all at once." 

And he was to pack her off to Nice as soon as possible. 


The debts were not so very serious, arrears for the rooms in 
the hotel and clothes for Lizzy. She had found that she could 
not wear the creations of Miss Minchin, the dressmaker recom 
mended by Mr. Benthall on the same floor as theirs in Chatham 
Place. She had ordered herself a couple of dresses in the fashion, 
desiring to discontinue Pre-Raphaelite gowns in Paris, just now 
when the new steel petticoat that gave circumference without 
weight, brought over from America, was favoured by fashion, i.e. 
the Empress, who was about to produce an heir to the dynasty. 
Gabriel found Lizzy well : high, the barometer of her hair, 
upspringing and glorious as of old. She made the most of her 
recovered looks so as to justify her determination to stop on. 
The hot dry air suited her, like the sweet chajnpagne that was 
served with her meals. She had taught herself some French, 
and when they stood to watch the laying of the new boulevards, 
the old walls razed to the ground (Baron Haussmann had promised 
Napoleon that there should be no more barricades), she would 
repeat, as children in England Peter Piper, the topical French 
equivalent : " Le mur murant Paris, s'en va en murmurant," com 
plaining because it had been there for a quarter of a century and 
now must go. But she was, Britishly, down on the French 
character. The conceit of them and their incessant jabbering ! 


" Do they think they are saying something ? " she would ask. 
And so proud of their Glass Palace, imitated from ours, because 
it had a transept so many metres higher ! Prices ran cheaper 
than in the London one, entrance a franc, and the days were 
different. In London Fridays and Saturdays were the expensive 
days, and it was not open on Sundays at all. Here Friday 
was the only expensive day and Sunday the cheapest a few 
centimes. The two women could not afford to buy, but stared 
at The Regent and the toile du Nord and were perfectly happy 
wandering in and out the glittering cases, in the sections of 
Bijouterie et Cristalleries, of Dentelles et Broderies, of Sous et 
Soieries, of Vetements, Modes et Fantaisies. But when Gabriel 
came, they only managed to drag him there one afternoon, and 
he and Munro hurried them past the beastly diadems by Bapst, 
the awful bracelets, rivulets and necklaces of Dumas and Paillard : 
turning a blind eye on the vitrines of Watte and Dufour of Bel 
gium, of Backe and Krug of Germany, absolutely disdaining the 
English exhibits of Messrs. Hunt and Roskill and their terrible 
mourning jewellery made of cbenefossile noire that is to say, Jet. 
Munro and he paused a moment to consider the work of a 
would-be Pre-Raphaelite, John Hancock, the boyhood's friend 
of both, an epergne figuring some knights killing each other to 
put on a dinner-table ! He seemed to like best, and so did she, 
the French or cisele chased gold which he was pleased to 
compare with Lizzy's hair, saying that he would make hair like 
hers the rage in London. He gave Munro, whom he had run 
up against in the Louvre, the impression that he was frightfully 
in love with The Sid. 1 


He had got to Paris on the 8th of November. The Exhibition 
closed by decree on the I5th. Rossetti and Munro saw Lizzy 
and her companion off by rail to Nice, with money in hand. 
Away, altogether, only a week and now he was back in London, 
telling the fellows all about it. Yes, he had seen Napoleon driving 
with the Empress in an open carriage although he had just been 
shot at for the second time. No one could say he was a coward, 
although Hugo called him Le Petit and he looked like a clammy 

1 " Rossetti every day with his sweetheart E. S., of whom he is more foolishly 
fond than ever. Great affection is always so to the looker-on, I suppose. Well, 
well!" Munro to Hill. 


pork butcher. Eugenie at his side, pale but blazing in gold and 
colour, like a bell-flower bent her proud neck, saluting with 
her indefinable air of deprecation, " as if entreating you ^ to 
believe that she was obliged to be Empress ! " so Mrs. Browning 
said. And they had seen her rival, The Castiglione, by accident. 
Stunners both ! The Castiglione was the vainest woman in the 
world Gabriel quoted one of her speeches, the right sort of 
speech for a Stunner to make : " Je suis et m'en content?, ne 
voulant fare ni par les autres ni pour les autres" A spy and a 
thorough tomboy to dissimulate her job perhaps climbing 
so that everyone could see her, to hear the chimes at midnight, 
with the Director of Beaux Arts> on the roof of the old Louvre 
that he was rebuilding, making the join between it and the 
Tuileries that was later to save Eugenie's life. By the way, old 
Nieuwerkerke was behaving as if the whole place was his own, 
giving pictures away wherewith to trim the walls of St. Cloud 
as if they were pieces of furniture. " Ulmperatrice demande 
encore des tableaux" Turning the public out of the galleries and 
giving parties there, murdering masterpieces, he and Godefroi, 
always drunk, with his precious sauce a refaire, a black mixture 
like mud of which the recipe was scrapings of varnish, lots of dust 
and spirits of wine applied with a swab. The hands of Marie d,e 
Medicis were now gone. For Rubens Ruskin did not so much 
care, or for Claude whom Nieuwerkerke and his henchmen were 
now u restoring to the truth," making him clear and silvery 
instead of hot and highly coloured as he really was ; but what of 
the Veronese ? Rossetti privately did not care for the Veronese, 
but they had cleaned The Marriage in Cana quite thin. 

By the 2nd of December Mrs. Kincaid and Lizzy were in Nice, 
at the Hotel des Princes. Miss Siddal had kept her room and 
eaten her Christmas dinner upstairs, " plum pudding and all very 
good very good indeed and an honour to the country ! " She 
has a bad boil of which she cannot get rid but she tells Gabriel 
that it is on account of hotel bores that they want to move into 

She had been made self-conscious by her association with 
Gabriel Rossetti and his friends. Clever and receptive, she had 
been taking it all in, and some of it wrong. Her letters even 
William noticed it constantly betray the note of facetiousness 


that is the refuge of the artistically and educationally destitute, 
handed the whole bag of letters to play and form sentences 
with. She indulged freely in the chaffing manner of which 
William complained one of the reasons why she and Christina, 
so just, so elegant, so simple of phrase, could never get on. Here 
is her first letter, written about three weeks after her arrival in 
Nice. She had not been allowed to retain her passport. It 
had been taken charge of by the police x and she was put through 
some irksome precautions. First she had to borrow it for half 
an hour and, presenting herself at the office, let them have a 
look at her and gave them a sample of her handwriting to compare 
with the passport. If the two signatures should be considered to 
vary it would mean that she was pretending to be someone else, 
and be as good as a death warrant ! They would at once take it 
into their silly foreign heads that she was a murderess escaping 
from justice or was, at any rate, a thief. But she would be let 
off hard labour because of her thinness ! . . . And so it goes 
on the would-be funniness. She would have to stand in front 
of the grille while the man behind it, like a mutton chop sticking 
to a gridiron (he is " Mutton Chop " to the end of the interview), 
stands looking " as much like doom as over-done mutton can 
look, fizzing French," not one word of which can she under 
stand. Back to the police station where the Two Cocked Hats 
hand over the enclosure reluctantly. . . . 

The letter ends on a note of doubt " But believe me, Yours 
most affectionately. ..." 

Frivolous yet passionate, with the desire of the dove to brood 
alone " First-class, one can get to the end of the world, but 
one can never be let alone or left at rest " all this is part of her 
complex, connected with those wilful seclusions of hers in 
Chatham Place, " alone, withouten any company " 2 or sound, 
except the river noises, the sleepy, heavy sucking of the water 
at the base of the pillars of the bridge, the flapping wash, 
slowly dying away, of the barges that went past, or the bells of 
the purlmen plying in their little boats, up and down and in and 
out of the big lighters, selling bad beer in the small hours of 
the morning to the weary foredone workers who, heated and 
drugged, must needs send for more much more. 

1 A precaution natural enough, considering the state of politics at the time, the 
whole of the Genoese littoral honeycombed with spies and political agents. Nice 
was Nizza then, and part of the Kingdom of Piedmont. 

2 Chaucer. 


Gabriel sent the letter on to Ruskin. He evidently thought 
it funny, in a Jan van Hunksish sort of way. Ruskin returned it 
saying that it was excellent and all " too true, poor thing ! " 
and that he had often boiled over himself about the ridiculous 
passport system of the Continent. He wanted to get her up 
into his " pet " Alps. She really must manage it as soon as the 
Spring came. 


She was still away and Gabriel Mon-Dieuing, murmuring her 
name as he sat at his easel little Cathy heard him " Guggums ! 
Guggums ! " (surely the ugliest name " Love ever wearied 
of? "), full of commissions, making red hair the fashion as he 
had promised Lizzy to do, was battening on Brown in his new 
house in Fortess Terrace, too expensive for Brown and too big, 
though there was a new baby coming in December. Brown's 
important work had had to be laid aside for want of patronage 
and he was doing pot-boilers and journeyman's work of sorts. 
His guest took him out now and then to dine off a lobster or to 
the play to see some Stunner or other Madame Ristori or Miss 
Herbert and introduced dealers, full of specious promises. 
Old White hinted at " a speedy fortune in two years more for 
Mr. Brown, when Mr. Brown would command the highest 
prices and be in a position to give him (White) a ' pic ? now and 
then for remembrance." Brown's sardonic entry is" Amen, 
I say." i 7 

Gabriel at last sends Mr. Flint of Liverpool, who almost 
commissions Work, but says he will " write " and, going out of 
the studio, is struck with one of Gabriel's sketches for Moxon's 
Tennyson and offers forty guineas on the nail for a water-colour 
on the subject. 

The apportioning of the Llandaff decorations was a 'perpetual 
grievance. Brown had been consulted as to the possibility of 
Rossetti's undertaking the altarpiece. Not that he grudged 
Rossetti^the work, but, still" Seddon needn't have asked me 
my opinion ! " 

Gabriel was dressing better and talked of buying a watch and 
had^managed to send Lizzy fifty-five pounds since she left but 
no sign as yet of Brown's loan ! As Brown had cynically foretold, 

* As a matter of fact, Work had to be set aside while The Stages of Cruelty, for 
which httle Cathy was sitting at the moment, remained unsold for thirty-five years. 


he was getting on better without her. The hatchet-face was 
filling out : he looked " handsome and a gentleman " and 
behaved as if his hosts were made of money. He would stop in 
bed till ten or eleven, then he would breakfast, leisurely, alone, 
translating sonnets beside his plate or teasing little Cathy, making 
faces at her through the red glass pane of the door into the 
garden, or chasing her till she fell, dressed as children were then, 
into a bed of nettles. He hated children. 

It was frightfully cold and England was at war. Brown and 
his wife were pleased to think that Lizzy was missing the influenza 
epidemic, and Gabriel was glad he had refused to go to Wales. 
A friend of his, down at Abergele, had said in a letter that he 
had caught in his hand a live woodcock which, with its long bill, 
could not get into a cranny to keep itself warm. Nobody in 
Fortess Terrace thought very much about the men crouching 
down in those deeper crannies outside Sebastopol, but made up 
a good fire and sat over it. One night, as they basked, some 
one inside saw a spark fall ; someone outside rang the bell 
the chimney proved to be on fire. Emma Brown tried salt 
and a wet blanket ; but Brown put down his pipe and went 
what he called " right at it " up through the trap-door in the 
roof and, walking gingerly on the slates of the high house, 
stuffed another good blanket down the chimney. Shouts 4 from 
Gabriel down below to say the remedy had been efficacious. 
Meantime the painter had not been idle, and had carefully raked 
all the live coals out of the grate and spread them over the new 
Kidderminster, of claret-colour powdered with chocolate and 
Jleurs-de-lis. But Mrs. Brown forgave him and the larger holes 
soon had chairs and tables arranged over them. 


Mary Howitt, who kept William Allingham informed of his 
London friends' doings, as well as those of Aspasia her cat, told 
him all about Gabriel's new Stunner, the beautiful Miss Herbert, 
and how he never missed one of her first nights and even went 
again and took his friends. No danger to Lizzy ; Miss H. was 
far too great a swell to look at an artist. She stayed with the 
aristocracy when " resting " and never accepted presents of any 
kind. Mary did not believe that Rossetti had ever seen her off 
the stage, but she must have come expensive in tickets ! 

Another Stunner, Lady Waterford, was also too high up to 


affect Lizzy. But Gabriel was always about with Annie Miller, 
painting the girl by day and taking her to Highbury Barn by 
night, where she made good use of the dancing lessons Hunt was 
paying for. Anna Mary wondered what Mr. Hunt had said 
about it when he got home, invalided, from Syria, where Mike 
Halliday had had to go all the way to fetch him. 

Either Mr. Hunt didn't know about Annie and Gabriel (and 
Boyce, too there was safety in numbers) or he didn't mind, 
for on his return from abroad he stayed with Gabriel in Chatham 
Place until he could get back into his old rooms in Claverton 
Street. Yet he was besotted on Annie. Halliday and Martineau, 
who roomed with him, found him a thorough nuisance. She 
would call in, " looking most syren-like," to ask about something 
or other, saying she couldn't stay, just when they were sitting 
down to dinner, and Hunt would jump up and keep them waiting 
while he put her on a boat to go home to Chelsea. . . . 

What wonder that Lizzy, out there, was getting restless and 
talked of coming home ! Money difficulties were put forward, 
but it was less a question of funds than either Ruskin or Rossetti 
supposed. The latter actually wanted to borrow from one of 
the Yorkshire patronesses, but Ruskin put a stopper on that. 
He would ask his own Miss Heaton to lend Rossetti twenty-five 
" in a way that would leave it quite within her power to refuse 
comfortably," and if she did refuse, he would supply the money. 
Rossetti should have thirty pounds at once, anyway. No, he 
wasn't at all put out. He just wanted Ida, for her own sake he 
wasn't going anywhere near her to stay abroad. If she would 
only get out of Nice ! But, if she did really want to come home 
instead of stopping to see "some Alps and gentians," she just must. 

His appeal seems to have stayed her. She faintly suggested 
the Dauphine. No, nothing but Alps would satisfy Ruskin. 
He had only allowed for the South of France in the first place 
because he didn't know her well enough to know what she would 
or wouldn't like " that time when she chose Paris instead of 
Normandy," in his despite. Well, he is sick of it ! If she will 
agree to Switzerland like a good girl, let her write and say so. 
" It is no use my stirring myself up if her mind is made up to 
come home." 


In the Spring, she returned to England, no better. Her 
physician noticed " a continuous decline in vital force " from 

1 68 

now onward. Henceforward she was always ill and, less patient 
of pain and discomfort, adopted the new panacea from which 
Mrs. Browning, a grander, more reasonable woman, had refrained, 
though she congratulated her generation on its availableness : 
" What a wonderful thing these new inhalations seem to be ! " 
Lizzy was, of course, forbidden to sleep near the river, so the 
rooms in Weymouth Street had to be kept on. Nowadays 
Gabriel had to paint her reclining in the big armchair that was 
moved there from Chatham Place, her head deep sunk in a pillow 
placed at the back, the long fingers of one hand laid under her 
chin like Mrs. Browning's " spirit hand " propping hers. Her 
hair in these pictures is always spread out as if it were a peacock- 
feather fan, in flat languid loops, like water flowing away, 
water of pale gold still the most vital thing about her, perhaps 
draining away the rest of her life. Old Mrs. Ruskin had always 
said that it ought to be cut off because of the weight and the 
effort of growing taken from her reserve of strength. And the 
very tending and dressing of it were tiring for an invalid. 


And Gabriel had found a new and deeply stimulating environ 
ment something that, as it were, oxygenated his blood while 
she was away. He had founded a School of his own : at least 
revived the Pre-Raphaelite impetus with the new blood of 
William Morris and Edward Jones. 





EARLY in January of this year, 1 856, Rossetti had written 
to Allingham of his meeting with a certain youthful 
Jones who designed " Holbeinesque fancies not -a few," 
one of the " nicest fellows in Dreamland/' and his 
friend Morris, also a denizen of that region. 

By " Dreamland " the practical Rossetti meant the magazine 
run by these two young men and their set, in which an 
appreciative notice of his own illustration to Allingham's Maids 
of Elfin Mere had appeared. The comparatively moneyed Morris 
financed this venture : his father had died leaving him the care 
of a mother and two sisters and enough 1 to do it on, including 
a house and garden at Walthamstow. 

There were no cheap reprints of the classics in those days ; 
if you wanted a book you must buy it, and Morris, the plutocrat 
who could afford to lose three hundred pounds on a magazine 
a year of The Oxford, and Cambridge cost him that provided 
literary food for his friends ; Shakespeare and Malory for Jones : 
Tennyson 2 for Morris, novels for everybody. Aurora Leigh, 
Guy Livingstone and the works of Miss Charlotte Mary Yonge, to 
whom Lady Eastlake conceded the power of passion 3 she would 
not allow to the other, great, Charlotte. 

1 Copper, in 1848, was worth 160 a ton. In 1844 veins were discovered near 
Tavistock Capital of 1,024 shares of i each. Of these Morris' father held 272. 
Within six months the shares were changing hands in the market at Soo each. 
Mr. Morris' holding rose for a while to the value of two hundred thousand pounds. 
Life of William Morris, by J. W. Mackail. 

2 Tennyson, with his ghostly memory and magic of phrasing, his " gleams across 
the dreary moorland " and his idle tears that the Portuguese call saudades, i.e. rueing, 
of which Howell talked so much. 

3 The Heir ofRedclyffe, " like a deep blue Italian sky with a rich, gorgeous Italian 
sunset." New Quarterly. " Beast as she is," said Jones of Lady E., " she is no 
fool." Miss Yonge was almost a Pre-Raphaelite through her intense close 
visualisation of mediaeval times ; for instance, Leonard the Lion Heart, The Ckaplet 
of Pearls, The Dove in the Eagle's Nest. 


From a photograph 

One does not associate the Oxford Movement with the Pre- 
Raphaelite one or Sir Guy de Morville with Sir Palomydes. 1 
But had it not been for The Heir and his knightly proclivities, 
coupled with the visit of Morris and Jones to a certain picture 
gallery, the revival 2 of the Movement might not have taken 

Some years before a handful of young men who had never 
heard of the P.R.B., but were full of ideas and fun, sat about 
the floor and the window-sills in a small room in Oxford and 
talked incessantly of the formation of an Order or Brotherhood. 
Sir Galahad was to be the patron and the whole thing was 
instigated by young Mr. Edward Coley Jones, of Exeter, whose 
Celtic imagination had been fired or chilled by the sight, in 
boyhood, of a Cistercian Monastery in full working order, eight 
miles from his home in the heart of Charnwood Forest, 3 

This order was not to be purely monachal wives, " if there 
should be any," were to be " associated together." A sort of 
Abbey of Thelema : a foundation of clerical and lay workers 
established in the heart of London where, nowadays, there was 
most to be done. The Good Knight of Walthamstow began 
by helping in the slums of Marylebone, lifting bodies into the 
cholera carts. He always went ahead violently with anything, like 
the Heir of Redclyffe giving up hunting because it interfered with 
his reading : trying to make girls interested in good men, not 
bad ones " blessed damozels," such as Amy in The Heir : not 
Flora Bellasys in Guy Livingstone. 

Both as good as gold yet, " the low sun gives the colour," 
and to Gabriel Rossetti, the practical, the material, the earth- 
bound, who visited in Dreamland, but assuredly did not live there 
altogether, these lads gravitated. When Ruskin's Edinburgh 

1 The Great Unkissed, with whom in after days, of all Arthur's knights, Morris 
humbly associated himself. 

2 The third and last fytte and flicker was in the late '70*3, when young Wilde 
" went down " from Alma Mater, came up to London and settled in Salisbury 
Street with a few Delft plates and peacocks' feathers, picked up the ageing Burne- 
Jones on his robust shoulders and carried him into the popular repute he had 
merited so long. 

3 Like the dominant in music this pious hope and wish appears in his letters for 
years after he had taken up painting ; and once, when the plan was seriously menaced, 
he desired to go into the army and get killed. See Appendix for Charnwood. 

May 1855, ". . . Am afraid that our monastery will come to naught. Smith has 
changed his views to extreme latitudinarianism, Morris has gone questionable on 
doctrinal points. . . ." Somebody else, called Ted, was " too Catholic to be 


Lectures came to be published they bought the book, read what 
he said about the P.R.B. and, next time they went down, walked 
over to Tottenham to see the collection, mainly of Turners 
but including a Hunt, a Millais and a Rossetti enshrined in 
the gallery Mr. Windus, 1 of Godfrey's Cordial, had built for it. 
After they had seen these pictures they elected Rossetti their king. 

And in the Long Vacation they went to France to see Cathedrals 
and got their Pauline revelation, for which Jones had been pre 
pared by the day at Godstow. They arrived at Beauvais on a 
Saturday, limping, footsore, despondent. Next morning they 
attended High Mass and knew, once for all, the way they 
were to go. Suddenly made aware of the gaiety, the headiness, 
the sacred glory of Colour that, while Line represents duty and 
religion, stands for the pleasures of the life which men share with 
one another till Death parts them, and that poor old Ruskin, 2 
so pale and watery and friendless, had missed. Unused, un 
wonted nerves in them were played and wrought upon by the 
sight of the pied banners, oscillating, upborne by infants in red 
and white procession, the gold rays from the pyx that so 
affected Joan of Arc 3 falling dim and dun on tessellated floors 
and the embossed embroideries of copes and chasubles. Add to 
this the noise that is Colour's concomitant, sonorous organ peals 
and blare of trombones that made the incense-laden air to rock 
and tremble and the colours to shake before their eyes red and 
blue, the " choosing cloths of Heaven and Hell." 4 

And afterwards, when all was quiet, by the river-side in 
England, Jones 5 chose "Heaven's colour/ 5 the quiet flame of 
blue that was the dragon-fly, hovering, poised over the glinting 
water . . . long enough for him to have painted it. 

" Stay, thou art fair ! " This moment lost them, as it were, 

1 Everyone went there though they never saw Mr. Windus. His taste was 
exquisite and all the artists sat at his feet. Ruskin drove his Effie over and poor 
Brown walked all the way from Finchley. Windus was rich and spent the money 
he made on the Cordial and his contract for all the mail coaches in England, on 
buying Turners, with which he never parted, for he was not a dealer and gave 
himself tremendous moral airs. After the Ruskin-Millais affair, he would not even 
allow Millais to make a sketch of his own picture for reproduction. 

2 Said his master Turner, dying-" The Sun is God, my dear ! " 

3 The processions of small angels, as she may have seen them, dancing in the beam 
from the pyx at Notre Dame des Victoires, where the/ dance still on fine Sundays. 

4 " One of these cloths is Heaven and one is Hell ; 
Now choose one cloth for ever, which they be." 

5 See King Copketua and Margot. 


to Holy Orders. The idea of droning cold phrases in the plain 
white churches of non-Catholic countries became hateful to 
them both for evermore. " Save me from that ! " said Jones, 
deeply, truly religious, albeit without white scapular and black 
gown, "for I have looked beyond the veil." 

On the quay at Havre that very night they made up their 
minds that they would not be parsons and gently broke it, Morris 
to his mother and Jones to his aunt, on their return. 

It was an awful thing to do, then. Art, which came to be 
a gilt-edged security, was then a very great adventure and 
fathers and mothers, with neat curacies in their eyes and a 
bishopric to follow, when informed that a son wanted to take up 
painting, felt much as if he had proposed to follow the players or 
run away to sea. But Jones' father, who was a carver and gilder 
by trade, played up and started his son as an artist, while Morris, 
for want of a better job, articled himself for instruction in English 
Gothic, to the perpetrator of " Phil and Jim," l a charming man 
whose boast, however, was that he had restored nearly every 
church in England and would already have begun on Magdalen 
only, luckily, funds were not available. But the desecration of 
St. Albans was being perpetrated and Morris, faithful servant, 
helped it on. 

Soon it was the Bissextile, the year when it never rained 
" blue sky from Christmas to Christmas " and " London streets 
glittering like the golden ones of Zion," while to Jones it was 
" always morning and the air sweet and full of bells." One 
recognises the faintly hysterical touch that went along with 
his real shrewdness and competence. For Jones was now more 
than " the man who wrote to Ruskin and got an answer by 
return " ! He was the man who had lessons from Rossetti and 
was allowed to enter his studio freely : while Rossetti, who 
notoriously hated being watched, would merely nod and go on 
painting. It was " so nice when he loved someone, for they need 
to be in no doubt about it." 2 False premises, dear Mr. Jones ! 
Of those who were useful and whose society promised him amenity 
he was fond, petting them, " tempering " them, now and again 
applying the rules of his own hard, ferocious, unrelenting spirit, 
to their backslidings and recalcitrances. For he was a leader 
born, sharing with Napoleon the advantages of the bilio-lymphatic 
1 George Edmund Street. 2 Memorials, by Lady Burne-Jones. 


temperament " 'Tis the hidden fire that wins me my battles ! " 
Master, like Napoleon, of the direct statement, he dominated 
people's nerves by his short, unreiterated directions and 
commands, nor blurred significance with repetition. 

This sinner the young men took for their saint and, lacking 
the earnest Hunt and the frivolous Millais, the Pre-Raphaelite 
Brotherhood was born anew. 


Rossetti had persuaded them both to leave the beaten track 
that leads to ease and a competence, for the thornier ways of 
Art. 1 " Rossetti says " most of Jones' sentences began in that 
way now " that I ought to paint and shall be able." So Jones 
would do his best. 

Morris in Street's office all day and at a Life School at night 
was worked to death. But it was worth it. Rossetti called 
them his Dears ! (So, imitatively, Jones was to call men he 
liked for the rest of his life.) And he praised them to people, 
saying that they were wonders of their kind " Jones especially ! " 
He did not take to Morris though he praised him perfunctorily, 2 
Morris who adored him, the blood-red ray in the spectrum of 
his life serving him by word and deed, buying his drawings, 
composing legends 3 for them ; mystic jingles, little rhyme and 
less reason, flying wrack of confused thought, spindrift of 
romance, all about queer patient people without dimension or 
repousse, like the scene on which they are made to move rushy 
floors of enchanted castles, set in orchards reddening to the sea, 
in a country which is no man's land except he dream. There 
was Alicia who wore a scarlet gown " when the sword went out 
to sea." Why on Earth, or in Dreamland, did she? Some 
subtle, far-flung, far-fetched curse ? And " Fair Yolande of the 
flowers," walking with her maidens on the rain-washed leads 
of her castle near the sea they are all built near the sea in 

No one walks there now, 

Except in the white moonlight 

The white ghosts walk in a row. 

1 " Morris and Jones have now settled in London," D. G. R. wrote to Allingham. 
" I have persuaded Morris to give up architecture and start painting." His mother 
never forgave him for it she blamed it on Jones. 

2 " You would think him one of the finest little fellows alive, with a touch of the 
incoherent, but a real man." 

3 " Morris has written a stunning poem to my Blue Closet picture." 


Or that " blue " parlour, in some other haunted place, where 

are given leave 

Alice the Queen and Louise the Queen, 
Two damozels wearing purple and green, 

Every year on Christmas Eve 

To sing in the Closet Blue one song 

Laudatt Pueri. 

So great, so modest withal, pleased with the approval of mere 
workmen, 1 of children, of animals ... yet Gabriel Rossetti 
vastly preferred the society of Jones. Morris was too original, 
too independent for the king-man, who was really made uncom 
fortable by the other's violent simplicities, his " scorn of scorn, 
hate of hate, love of love," his rudeness, his lack of humour 
and subtlety except of the animal kind. There was nothing 
affected or stagey about Morris ; he just took life as he found 
it (in the mediaeval chronicles) crude and cruel with patience 
and piety, while Jones, holding quite as grim a view of life, 
invested the sadness with all sorts of quips and cranks and ador 
able babyishness. As subservient to Rossetti as Morris, he was 
more clinging, affecting to go about on leading-strings, hardly 
able in the end to get married, so he said, without Rossetti. 

Rossetti rather encouraged the notion of getting married, 
hoping thus to break the spell which he himself wielded over 
him and which meant, at least, responsibility. He had to be 
careful lest he was accused of robbing these youths of their 
April. Jones was his Liebling as Deverell 2 had been, and he 
wrote to the boy ever so humbly " I know I must be fonder of 
you than you possibly can be of me. Anyway, I am far fonder 
of you than anybody, and you, I know, are fonder of me. . . ." 
Then, ashamed of his sentimentality and pulling himself up 
with a jerk "This letter begins to read rather flabby. . . ." 3 


Soon Jones did get engaged and, by the I5th of February, 
Gabriel moped so that he even missed Mrs. Hindi's ginger cat 

1 Of one of his own books, nearly stillborn, he said proudly, " The men at the 
Works think a lot of it." 

2 See Jarno-Jenssen's Kunstler-Monographien. 

3 What we should call " soppy " nowadays. Everybody said " fond " for 
" loving " in those days, even sweethearts ; it was an elegant sort of periphrasis for 
that gross word " love." 


which Lizzy fed and so brought about the place. He would sit 
daubing away in the dusk until he heard the click of the lamp 
lighter's rod, setting agoing the " two seedy flames " of the 
standard by the gate, definitely proclaiming nightfall, when 
he would get up and spend an hour so he told her looking for 
his hat and stick before he could go out to get some dinner. 
He wrote her a Valentine " Come back, dear Liz . . ." He 
missed the woman, if only to deal with duns and undesirables 
whom, from her shop training, she spotted at once and treated 
with a firm hand, and to wind up the clock, which had run down 
all the time she was away. 

On her return she attended to these things, choosing now, 
however, to sleep and spend most of her time in Weymouth 
Street. How could she sleep at Gabriel's place as of old, 
for any night the fellows might come in at any time and 
stay well into the next morning ? And, in the daytime, they 
were all in and out constantly ; Hunt, whom she disliked because 
he had once snubbed her about some technical point, and 
the two adoring boys, to whom she was merely the betrothed of 
the Master, who, for reasons into which they did not venture 
to pry, deferred the announcement of his engagement to her. 
They did not admire The Sid. Morris, the more indifferent of 
the two, by way of kowtowing to Gabriel, made one of his jingles 
about her, founded on a North-country custom of rack-rent of 
which Howell had told him : 

There was a lady lived in a hall, 
Large in the eyes and slim and tall. 
And ever she sang, against the noon, 
Two Red Rosfs across the Moon. 

Gabriel would go to see her in Weymouth Street whenever 
he could spare time from his work, his friends and his amuse 
ments ; and that was not very often. When Lizzy got tired of 
being alone she just put herself into a bus and went to the 
Browns' to tea and sleep, if a bed was not handy, on the sofa or 
the hearthrug. She could sleep anywhere. Gabriel objected 
to her seeing so much of Emma Brown, partly because she was 
silly and saw ghosts and put Lizzy up to being discontented with 
him, Gabriel which she did not, Brown denied it. Poor Miss 
Siddall (characteristically Brown and his wife always refused to 
dock the last / " Gabriel's wretched swagger ") complained 
enough already of Gabriel's wasteful goings on and needed no 


extra working up. Gabriel, on her account, was always exceed 
ingly rude to Mrs. Brown, who found " his brutish conduct " 
difficult to overlook. One day he had come along, thinking to 
find Liz at their house it was after a quarrel they had had 
the night before. He had missed her, and went without saying 
good-bye to Mrs. Brown, who did not resent it. But Brown 
wrote on Wednesday and demanded an apology, which he did 
not get till Sunday if at all, for Gabriel and Lizzy simply came 
to supper, shook hands, said nothing about it and ate heartily. 
Brown was very useful, running errands and seeing people for 
Gabriel, procuring calves, lending costumes, being surety for 
borrowed " tin." Yet Gabriel never thought of " going 
without " himself, or of lending My Uncle some of the fine 
things he purchased when in funds ! Brown had, on several 
occasions, pawned the family silver, his studs and the clothes 
off his wife's back sooner than borrow for himself. These 
were the " goings on " that drove Lizzy frantic and made her 
spiteful. The nobility of Brown's nature forbade complaint or 
retaliation but he permitted himself to write it down, using 
his own forcible coloration and quickening of the diapason in 
the chronicling of what he called " scenes of the strangest 
physical and moral confusion combined with reckless extrava 
gance " in the menage which Rossetti hesitated to invite Lizzy 
to share. This senseless, causeless hanging back was what 
maddened Brown, on her behalf. 

N 177 



FIGHTING had stopped in January, and Peace which 
mattered a good deal to people other than artists 
was declared officially in May; there were to be 
illuminations, which would delight artists as well. 
Allingham was invited by Munro to stop with him and Miss 
Munro in Belgrave Place till Boyce's old rooms in Buckingham 
Street could be secured for him. Boyce was an artist now. 

There were still some illuminations left round about the Mall 
and Buckingham Palace when Allingham arrived and, in the 
evening, he and the Munros paraded the Mall arm in arm, among 
the noisy, guffawing crowd in front of the Palace, under the glare 
of the fireworks. At ten they went home, sent the lady to bed 
and began to tell tales. 

Gabriel and Lizzy first I Munro told him all about Paris 
and how fond of Lizzy Gabriel seemed to be. Over, then, the 
reign of Annie Miller ! Annie's new beau was Boyce. Did 
Hunt mind ? He had objected, as her self-constituted guardian, 
to Gabriel's flirtation with her last year. Boyce had had to ask 
leave to paint Annie but Gabriel just took her. Hunt either 
didn't guess or refused to wrestle for her. But Munro had seen 
a very stiff letter from Hunt to Boyce, " feeling bound to acquaint 
him with the fact " that he only permitted it on the under 
standing that she was to be looked upon as Hunt's own 
" protge " and that he considered himself responsible for her 
future, " as far as other artists might affect it." Supposing 
another artist should wander into the studio while Annie was 
there and make overtures to her ? Boyce was to say that Mr. 
Hunt was very particular about her and never allowed her to 
sit to anyone but himself and a few personal friends. 

So Mr. Hunt had found out that Annie was a bit of a minx 1 
(Allingham hated Annie for making Miss Sid so unhappy.) 


By kind permission of Harold Hartley, Esq, 

From a drawing by D. G. Rossecti 

Not until Sunday morning did Allingham find Gabriel at 
home in his shirt-sleeves, showing Tom Taylor Dantis Dream, 
about which, though polite, Taylor, a good-hearted Philistine, 
seemed more than doubtful. He was a very powerful man on 
the Press. He departed full of cheer, and the two old friends 
called on Boyce in his new chambers in Great Russell Street. 
Then Gabriel offered to take Allingham straight to The Sid's 
rooms, but insisted on going round to see the house where he 
was born, in a blind-alley with a stonemason's yard and a thicket 
of trees at the end of it. Standing on the cracked flags on the 
other side, Gabriel, waving his arms like a foreigner, had pointed 
out " the room where I painted my first picture ! " Then in 
another cab to a pawnbroker's in Wardour Street, where there 
was a " bit " he coveted. At long last they came to a tall house 
in Weymouth Street, where it ran into Great Portland Street, 
with a garden at the back and in it a plane tree whose top was 
level with Miss Siddal's windows. She herself, looking frail and 
thin in her black silk dress, was feebly setting about the stretching 
of a piece of Whatman's for a water-colour drawing illustrating 
a ballad ladies sitting on a stretch of yellow sand in full dress, 
their hooped petticoats ballooning in the stormy weather, 
waiting for their lords who had sailed long ago to fetch " the 
King's Daughter from Norroway " home. 

Rossetti, in his deep, grave voice, flowing on like a still stream 
under tree shadows, recited to them the ballad which they all 
knew by heart. 1 Then he took the job of mounting out of 
Lizzy's hands, wetting the nice clean sheet of paper, laying it face 
downwards on the table and the board on it and calling for the 
paste which a devoted lodger on the first floor had prepared on 
her fire for Lizzy and now brought up. He then turned up the 
edges of the paper all round the board, pasted it down and put it 
back on the table with a piece of soft paper over it to prevent 
the dust settling. Then he bade her put on her hat and come 

1 Lang, lang may the ladies sit 
With their fans intil their hands 
Before they see Sir Patrick Spens 
Come sailing up the strand. 

Half owre, half owre to Aberdour 
'Tis fifty fathoms deep, 
And there lies gude Sir Patrick Spens 
With the Scots lords at his feet. 

out with them until the paste was dry and the paper, contracting, 
had made a fair white even surface to paint on. She assumed a 
black mantelet and, her bonnet carefully adjusted on the loose 
masses of her hair, walked with her sweetheart and Mr. Ailing- 
ham out into the sunny calm of the June morning. They took 
a cab to Red Lion Square, setting Miss Sid down just ^ before 
they turned in, as she desired. She had never set foot in that 
house I since the death of Walter DeverelL 

A firm of feather-dressers had taken the whole of it on from 
Mr. North Cox, he of the queer stipulation which had annoyed 
Miss Siddal. Entering the dusty, empty suite, windless though 
one of the windows and all the doors were open, brushing a place 
on the pane with their handkerchiefs, they looked down on the 
square garden with its marigolds and lilies and thorn bushes and 
low trees. Three sets of tenants, Gabriel pointed out, had had 
these rooms since he and Deverell rented them, but " so pale 
and watery and colourless " as not to leave a trace of their 
presence, while the address of a model written in pencil on a wall 
was as fresh as on the day Walter wrote it. Lizzy had always said 
that the house was haunted and that when she was posing there, 
dumb and numb on the estrade, those two hateful sisters of 
Walter's, coming in to see what they called "the mad Pre- 
Raphaelites," and giggling, singing and taking off their crinolines, 
would dress up, Maria as Viola and Margaretta as Olivia, and run 
upstairs with their trains over their arms, cheered on by young 
Spenser Deverell, to see if they could frighten or impress the 
other lodgers. They would come down again, saying they had 
been frightened themselves, pretending to be faint, for they had 
felt people brushing past them all the way up, and on a certain 
landing by the old powdering closet a finger had positively been 
laid on Maria's shoulder. ... 

It would just do for Jones and Morris, who were moving. 
Gabriel persuaded the Fauconniers to accept them as tenants at 
the old rate of twenty shillings a week for the first floor three 
rooms, a bedroom behind and another, really a powdering closet. 
But there was that rarity, a North Light, and they could cut the 
little window higher to admit more of it. Morris, who had 
taken to designing furniture, 2 had made some chairs and a settle 3 
which would go in the studio nicely. 

1 Still existing. 2 The germ idea of The Shop. 

3 It had three painted shutters over the seat, a ladder to the parapet round it 
at the top, and a door above that leading on to the roof for minstrels to sing in at 

1 80 


Dust was not easily thrown in the eyes of William Allingham. 
Dreamy, mystic, withdrawn, he was more a man of the world 
than either Rossetti or Brown, and quiet reflection on the 
London scene in the emptiness of his Irish home, endowed his 
vision with shrewd and prophetic clarity. He regarded Lizzy's 
refusal to enter the door of Number Seventeen merely as a wile 
to bring her man to the point. She was using Walter, who 
couldn't contradict her, to inspire the notion that Gabriel had 
taken her away from a man who would have married her if 
he had lived (and perhaps that was the reason he had died ?), 
fomenting, for reasons of her own, the remorse which Gabriel 
undoubtedly felt. . . . 

But Allingham knew that, beyond a first spurt of excitement 
on her romantic discovery, the lad had not loved her not 
enough to hurt. There had been an inclination to a cousin, a 
Miss Hogarth, which was noted by others. And then King 
Death had intervened. 

He did not think that Lizzy knew much about a woman 
Gabriel's friends called Fanny though her name was Sarah 
whom he had even heard of in Ireland, and, as Hunt was still 
going to marry Miss Miller, Gabriel's sweetheart seemed to be 
troubling no more about her than she did about Miss Herbert, 
whom Gabriel never saw, or spoke to, off the stage, though he 
went nearly every night to see her act. 


Allingham talked to Tennyson about Gabriel, but Tennyson 
was not in sympathy with him and his life ; he himself, though 
a poet, had always managed to " avoid the drop into Bohemia." 
He was building himself a summer house at Farringford, " in 
the broad, anti-Pre-Raphaelite fashion," and owned himself 
shocked by Morris' Republican ideas. Through Woolner, he 
knew about Rossetti's engagement to a " milliner's apprentice " 
and also of the unfortunate connection with " some woman at 
Wapping," which stopped the way to its fulfilment. He granted 
Rossetti a great artist, in spite of his " commonness," and admitted 
that the time of the greatest sexual excitement for boys and 

Christmas. Burne- Jones painted the scene from the Nibelungen Lied on the inside 
of one shutter ; Rossetti the Salutation of Beatrice outside one of the doors. 


men-* be also that of the greatest spiritual life that the 
two voices can speak to the same ears and Purity and the other 
thing " exist side by side in the same nature both to merge 
at last into the sorrowless Eternity." Only he must have The 
Gleam> That, Gabriel had no more, since the days he went 
about with the boys on the model hunts, each with a glory on 
his face as of one who feels a light in his hair feeling faint in 
sunsets and at the sight of stately persons," and finding _ iree- 
dom from corruption, pride and disease" in the spirit ot 
Pre-Raphaelite brotherhood. _ . 

William Allingham left London this time with the impression 
that Gabriel was fond and proud of The Sid : at any rate, he 
was quite " good " with her. He could afford to be with his 
splendid secret mistress : his sensuality placated, helping^ not 
interfering, with his art. That so carefully warded virginity 
of Lizzy's, whose denial used to agitate and make him ill, was a 
fetich he did not want now. His feeling for her was just the 
remnant of an adolescent's sick fancies, born of his reading, 
echo of the ballad refrains of Keats and Poe and the great Italian. 
She was no longer La Belle Dame sans Merci, Annabel Lee, Psyche 
or Beatrice. Even Dante admitted that after his holy passion 
for that lady he went through a phase of earthly love._ She was 
Poor Lizzy now, and a sick woman at that ! There it was ! 


But the disciples murmured. The engagement had now lasted 
for nearly seven years they had been going about together 
constantly for that space of time. They knew she slept at 
Chatham Place and they were puzzled some of them shocked, 
especially Holy Hunt. To Heaven was raised the parrot cry 
" Why does he not marry her ? " The question was even put 
by bluff Robert Browning who knew them both so little ; Ruskin, 
more deeply versed in the incompatibilities of men and women 
through his own experiences and sequestration for ever from the 
joys of love, asked no such question. He had attended and was 

1 There on the border 

Of boundless Ocean, 
And all but in Heaven 
Hovers The Gleam. 


2 From D. G. Rossetti's printed story in The Germ. 

attending, so far as he was able, to what he conceived to be the 
real crux of the matter and reason of the man's recalcitrance 
the woman's ill-health continuing and likely to continue, as 
far as one could see. Hers was the disease of the age and a 
present nightmare to everyone. Full well he knew his Gabriel, so 
different from " glorious Browning " noble and strong enough 
to carry his invalid, literally and metaphorically. Gabriel's 
place was not and never could be, at the pillow of an invalid. 
Like most artists, he recoiled from shouldering responsibilities 
other than artistic ones and would, when the creative mood was 
on, have more regard for the susceptibilities of a nicely stretched 
bit of paper than the racked nerves of a human being. He did 
not easily endure the tempers, the peevishness of the poor 
drugged thing, come back no better for her cure, good to paint 
, but bereft for ever by illness of the magnetism which makes the 
woman sexually interesting. 

Not " waters engulphing or fires that devour," not " earth 
heaped against " him, not Fanny and the other Stunners only, 
but " death in the air," an atmosphere so paralysing to Lizzy's 
healthy, full-blooded x lover that he would lie awake, shivering, 
in bed at Chatham Place, or get up to sit in his nightshirt 
at the big window from which he could see the trees in the 
Temple " seeming to wave their heads " at him in vain protest, 
and hear the clocks of St. Bride's and St. Botolph's striking the 
Hour of The Bower, driving all Time into one resounding 
clash of doom so that he could not tell if it was " this day, to 
morrow, at eve or at noon. ..." 

And "Fettered Love, motionless, can but remember." A 
natural, selfish, sensual man, he abode much with Fanny, the 
tame, the eager, the abundantly phosphorised. . . . 


Yet, for the son of Lavinia, the brother of Maria and 
Christina, procrastination was not a cloak for desertion and 
the breaking of promises. He had engaged himself to Elizabeth 
Eleanor Siddal, and he meant to marry her and face her father 
and mother one of these days. But, sexually spited, baulked 
by her long resistance, she would have to take him without 
any of the sweet fruits of love she would be just an ailing 
wife, like Tennyson's, to keep house for him and to paint 
from. Marriage projects from time to time assumed cohesion, 


as a tuft of cloud that capricious wind-currents play with, 
gains form and once more dissipates in the field of Heaven. 
She came near or nearish to her heart's desire that autumn. 
Brown, hard at work on a paying commission by day, was painting 
a portrait of William Rossetti for love, by lamplight, and sat at 
it from eight to twelve every night. William had fixed that 
hour because he really must be home early for his long day at 
the Board of Trade. Then Gabriel came in and said that if 
William could wait five minutes while he told Brown something 
they might go back together. William, who knew his brother's 
five minutes, curled up on the sofa and dozed on and off till three 
in the morning while Gabriel discussed marrying Guggums and 
wintering in Algeria. This was in October. 

Algeria materialised into Bath. By December the tenth Gabriel 
and Lizzy, " better than when last in London and not quite so 
thin," were at Mrs. Greene's, Number Seventeen, Orange 
Grove, living " in a mud bath " and reading Aurora Leigh^ " a 
novel a la Jane Eyre, a little tainted by George Sand," and 
Wuthering Heights, " a fiend of a book, an incredible monster, 
the action laid in Hell, only, it seems, places and people have 
English names there." And he is " really ashamed " to plague 
William so, but could he spare ten pounds for a fortnight ? 

Yet he was making money " lots and lots of commissions," 
says Brown (cheerful, himself " over the bar at last '?), in a 
letter to Allingham. Little Lydia, on her return from a visit 
to Bath, reports Gabriel not the invalid as being wheeled 
about in a Bath chair, wagging his head from side to side, his 
tongue lolling out, to the great scandal of passers-by. Happyish, 
perverse. . . . 




BY the end of the year it was current gossip that the 
marriage was off. There was a Portuguese, a friend of 
William's who had sat to Millais and was now sitting 
to Gabriel. A frightfully good-looking fellow, like a 
Velasquez, with a voice of gold. He seemed to get hold of 
everybody. This man Howell was for some reason trying to put 
Gabriel off the girl and marriage generally, forcing him to en 
visage the sacrifices of personal comfort he would be called upon 
to make, the curtailment of petty liberties, the expenditure on 
other than pleasures there might even be children, but Howell 
did not think that likely by the look of her ! to be incurred in 
the performance of this gesture which his world was stupidly 
calling on a great artist to make. 

Jones and Morris were active in a new scheme which, to a 
certain extent, embodied the old idea of a Thelema. Hunt was 
to be asked to join, in spite of that little trouble about Annie 
Miller. Gabriel was quite agreeable to living in the same house 
with him and her if they ever married; Hunt was such a 
secretive " cuss " that no one knew when that would be. 

And no one, except perhaps Jones, wondered how The Sid 
would like it. Did she even know about the scheme? He 
could not ask, for no one ever quite spoke his mind to Gabriel. 
It was to be a " sort of joint establishment or College composed 
of various artists " where they could write and paint together, 
the strands of their various marital engagements being plaited 
tidily in a skein. They had been looking over houses. Jones, 
who always fancied Kensington, 1 discovered one to let called 
Cedar Villa and told Gabriel about it. 

On their return from Bath Gabriel had made Lizzy give up 
her rooms in Weymouth Street and had taken lodgings for her 

1 In the end he took Selby House, Hammersmith, at a hundred guineas, to be 
near Howell. 


in Hampstead. She was no longer independent, having relin 
quished Ruskin's allowance because she was too ill to earn it. 

She liked Spring Cottage, 1 with its big garden all round 
except on the side next the lane running down to South End. 
It was nearer, across the fields, than Chatham Place, to the 
Browns', who had now come to represent nearly all ^ she had in 
the way of friends. Mary Howitt was annoyed with her for 
not keeping Gabriel up to the mark to which she and Bessie 
Parkes had helped to push him years ago at Hastings and had 
lately, she fancied, made the move to the new house an excuse 
for not seeing so much of her. The two others, it would seem, 
had merely taken her up out of pity and respect for Gabriel 
and his art. 

Lizzy had less of her sister's company. Lydia Siddall had 
engaged herself to a young fellow called Joseph Wheeler on the 
staff of the Daily Telegraph. He was a little younger than 
Lydia and very much in love. He had run across her by accident, 
very much in the way Gabriel had met her sister. Walking 
along the Roman Road and looking into a shop-window he had 
noticed a beautiful girl reaching up for something required 
by a customer a good figure never looks so well as when the arm 
is raised showing the lovely line from elbow to waist (Lyddy 
did not wear stays). It was a string of candles of which, with 
her long reach, she could just manage to get hold. Though Aunt 
Lucy Day kept a shop, like the Siddalls, she had known better 
days. There was a title in her husband's family and her son 
would have been a Sir if everyone got their rights in this world. 

Lydia was emancipated to a certain degree by her engage 
ment. It was now Mr. Wheeler's business, not her father's, to 
look after her, so she was able to take her young man to see her 
sister in Weymouth Street and Hampstead both quite good 
addresses. Gabriel, who happened to be there one day, asked 
her to come to his studio and sit for her arms which were 
unusually fine. Lyddy agreed but did not tell her mother, 
who might have stopped relenting to Lizzy, as she was just 
beginning to do, if she had known. Presently Mrs. Siddall was 
actually persuaded to meet her future son-in-law. She dis 
approved less of his profession now that he was decorating a 
Cathedral for the son of Lord Aberdare. But one thing she 

1 Two or three minutes' walk from Keats' house, absorbed now in a block, but 
their sitting room and bedroom over it, with leaded panes in the windows, remains 
as it was. 

1 86 

would not do let the painter and his friends have anything to 
do with her fourth daughter, far too young "to be in the 
company of such unruly men " as Mr. Rossetti and his friends. 
Gabriel, on his side, pretended to be afraid of the handsome, 
cold and stately matron, with the floods of gold and greying 
hair which she let down on the slightest provocation of comment 
and admiration ; and refused to spill any of his well-known 
magnetism on her. 

It was after dark one night and the lamps had been lit in the 
street outside and the candles inside, and the firelight was 
dancing on the diamond panes of the tiny window at the back. 
Quite a party was gathered in Lizzy's sitting room. Her mother 
and sister, who had been there all day, and James Siddall and 
Mr. Wheeler, come to escort the two women home. Mrs. Siddall 
and Lyddy were just going up to the bedroom to wrap up for 
the succession of bus rides that would take them back to town 
when Mr. Brown walked in. He had had his tea. He seemed 
taken aback at finding company there, suggesting that he had 
wanted to see Lizzy alone, which irritated Gabriel, always 
jealous of Brown's influence over his sweetheart. And he 
would keep talking of Cedar Villa, discussing the position of 
the rooms and their assignment to the five persons who were to 
occupy them two married couples to begin with and one 
bachelor. Of the two best bedrooms Georgy had picked out the 
one she preferred for herself and Ned, and did so hope the other 
couple wouldn't want it. Mr. Hunt, being the elder, would 
naturally have first choice. All this did not much interest 
Lizzy's people, for Lizzy was not mentioned, and abruptly, 
Mrs, Siddall made a move. Lizzy took the ladies upstairs 
while James and Joseph Wheeler sat mum and the conversation 
flagged between Brown and Gabriel. When the women came 
down again Brown had slipped away. 

Then, like a concealed fire, Lizzy burst out in one of her new 
white rages that were so pathetic because, artists both, Lizzy 
knew that Gabriel knew how ugly her voice was when she raised 
it at all. Nothing would induce her to have anything to do with 
a scheme which involved her living in the same house with Mr. 
Hunt. She did not object to Mr. Morris and Mr. Jones hardly 
counted. But Mr. Hunt she hated. Yes, Gabriel had spoken 
of it ; but she had thought of a range of studios with a bedroom 

and kitchen behind, such as they were beginning to build now, 
for each couple. Gabriel, who could not have got into a rage 
if he had tried and whose voice would, in any case, have remained 
beautiful, pointed out that Brown did not seem to be including 
them in his scheme at all ! Everyone knew that dear old Brown 
did get dates and numbers wrong ; he had meant three couples, 
of course. Then why had Gabriel not corrected Brown at the 
time ? What would James and Lyddy and her mother think ? 
Then Gabriel, gently " Did they know, because she had always 
been so particular with him not to mention their engagement 
before anyone without her permission not even her mother." 
Her mother knew perfectly well, and Lyddy and of course 
Mr. Wheeler too, that she was engaged. Did he suppose that 
they would condescend to come there to tea with his mistress ? 
She would go straight to Aunt Day's in Barnsbury to-morrow 
morning, where Lyddy would give her half her bed. 

She had worked herself up to a temperature. He rang for 
the servant and asked her to see to Miss Siddal. After her gibes 
he could not stay or even offer to sleep on the sofa. She would 
be all right when she got to bed and he would be back to-morrow. 
He kissed her, put on his hat and walked all the way home to 
Chatham Place, to clear his mind a little. She had made him 
thoroughly miserable and herself ill. He felt these wretched 
quarrels in his spirit while she proved them on her body. Which 
was worse ? He meant to have it out with Brown next day. 
So did she. 

In the stillness of the morning but the Browns would be up 
she passed down the hill (almost a watercourse with the melting 
snows of three days ago), walking, lagging, sometimes running 
in feverish spurts. Leaving the village at the bottom, she struck 
across the winter fields into a world of black and white, picking 
out the darkling, hardly discernible footpaths that ran in a 
westerly direction, crossing the Fleet River by the little bridge 
just above Carker's Lane, so that she contrived to come in at 
the unfinished end of the new terrace with its arched middle 
fa?ade, large inscribed with the date of building- (so that all men 
could see) in which Brown's new house was. Stumbling over 
brickbats covered with snow, slipping where the footpath was 
still frozen, she reached the knocker and almost fell down on the 
doorstep. Brown was in the studio, palette in hand, too absorbed 
in " a bit " to notice the signs of a temperature in his visitor or 
he would as usual have made her lie down on the hearthrug and 


covering her with a rug, let her tell him all about it. Not a 
bit of it ! With an unusual amount of gesture, from her, she 
stood over him, raving against Gabriel, hissing accusations and 
letting her voice go Brown was not her lover, only her ad 
mirer. She did not listen to anything he said and he had a 
letter in his pocket, just received from Gabriel by messenger, 
and was conning it in his mind as she ran on simply murdering 
herself. . . . 

Brown knew that Gabriel was as much upset as she could 
have wished ! In the letter his phrases came ill-turned, 
uncouth ; her anger last night had made him " more unhappy 
than anything else in the world could do." She had seemed so 
embittered and estranged when they parted that he feared it 
might be the end of all things between them ! She had said she 
was going away God knows where and all because of this 
scheme for a joint household which Brown knew, or must under 
stand, was utterly dependent on her wishes. He would drop it 
if there was the slightest chance of its affecting her happiness. 
He had had no idea of the violence of her dislike to Hurit : he 
should have thought that the objection had a right to be more 
on his own side. Hunt had not actually been acting a friend's 
part to him or to Lizzy lately, but he had hoped that the 
" feeling would fade out " when once he and Lizzy were married 
and their union beyond the power of mischief-making to break 
up. She did know all about the Thelema scheme : he had, of 
course, talked it over with her many times, and the only reason 
last night why he hadn't at once stopped Brown and cleared up 
the mystery of the " two or three married couples " was because 
she got so cross whenever he mentioned their engagement, and 
he did not know how she would take his mentioning it before 
Mrs. Siddal. 

Brown must be the arbiter. Disingenuous, all three of them. 
Brown, because of his zeal for Lizzy and acting on a pious motive, 
had, as Gabriel suspected, relied on their consciousness of his 
own well-known muddle-headedness hadn't he been scolded 
for it a hundred times ? and had purposely created the con 
fusion in order to see if Gabriel or Lizzy herself would rise 

to it? 

Gabriel had countered him by remaining mum. 

Lizzy, fighting for her life, as she saw it, was disingenuous too. 
She had really only the slightest of grudges against Hunt ; because 
he had once snubbed her about a picture, and for not taking 


more notice of her generally. It was Annie Miller she despised, 
hated and detested, and here was Gabriel calmly arranging to 
have the girl live in the same house with them ! Yes, she would 
let Brown take her home and she would lie down, and that 
evening she would see Gabriel, hear him out and bid him good 
bye for ever ... go to Aunt Day's or her mother's or back to 
Weymouth Street where they loved her anywhere out of the 
world ! 

She did not go away. She could not. She refused to eat. 
She could not. Brown sent his wife a telegram bidding her 
return at once from Hastings, where she was recovering from 
the birth of little Arthur, to take charge of Miss Sid " dread 
fully ill." In the evening Gabriel came, armed with an 
explanatory letter that Brown had sent him by messenger, but 
Mrs. Brown, just come in, would not let him show it. "She 
didn't want the poor girl excited and any more mischief made. 
She ordered Gabriel out and bade him stay away until Miss Sid 
could stand him : she might have to take her back with her to 
Fortess Terrace so as to nurse her properly and feed little Arthur 
too, but, for the present, she stayed there all day and was fetched 
at night, while the girl brought the baby to her twice a day. 
Feeding was the thing for Miss Sid too, only, if she ate, she 
suffered so much pain that she wilfully refused all nourishment 
except beef-tea. She was taken to the Browns' in the end, to 
see if change of food would do her any good, but no, on Sunday 
Brown set down in his diary : " She is, I fear, dying." And 
that Gabriel, alone in Chatham Place, was so wretched all day 
that he could not leave him ! 

Gabriel abased himself plentifully before Brown, preserving, 
however, his mediaeval, pasha-like attitude towards women, 
professing himself unable to " feel any anger with her now." 
(What for ? Brown would interiorly rumble.) " Only pain at 
the sight of her sufferings." And then : " What to do I know 
not." (Why, behave better; leave off plaguing her and give 
her her heart's desire.) Brown felt inclined to say this out loud, 
only Gabriel was so down, his proud crest so abased. . . . 


The rift did not close. Gabriel was occupying himself, Brown 
was glad to see, with his Monday Classes at the Working Men's 
College, their monthly meetings in Titchfield Street where, by 


From a drawing by G. P. Boyce 

paying threepence, the men could hear addresses and eat thick 
bread-and-butter, interesting himself in the Seddon Memorial 
Fund, attending with Brown the committee meetings that were 
being held at various houses, the teas at Ruskin's where the host 
was so absorbed in his own funny love affair that he hardly asked 
after Lizzy. 

At dinner in Red Lion Square one night someone met Gabriel, 
looking handsome but fagged and weak, saying very little. This 
was accounted for by someone else who said it was no wonder, 
since the lady he was engaged to was in a consumption. Could 
a man whose sweetheart was smitten with the dread disease 
be gay ? 


Presently she got a little better and he was allowed to see her, 
and realised with the humility of one well in health, who had by 
his robust thoughtlessness brought about a cataclysm of this sort 
in another, that she was being kind and patient with him " far 
more than he deserved." He admitted as much to Brown, and 
Brown let Lizzy know that Gabriel was ashamed of himself. 
But she had not seemed to take any interest in the fact and passed 
over Gabriel's promise not to see Annie again or Hunt either. 
Too ill to care. 


Gabriel had, at any rate, been behaving worse than Hunt 
knew. On the face of it he had been committing the unpardon 
able sin among artists, that of stealing Hunt's model under cover 
of Boyce, to whom Hunt had given her leave to pose, on con 
dition that Boyce pledged himself not to pass her on to any 
brother brush. It was the common talk of the studios that 
Annie pretended to be sitting to Boyce and was all the while 
playing truant from him with Rossetti, who had flung himself 
on Boyce's mercy, making out that he wanted her for a par 
ticular picture. It was really to take her to Cremorne. Several 
of them had seen her there with Gabriel, and more than once. 
All poor Boyce knew of their intimacy was Rossetti's visiting- 
card stuck on the estrade while he was out and scrawled on it, in 
pencil, one of the imperious mandates that none of his friends 
and toadies could afford to gainsay or neglect ! How could Boyce 


kelp obliging him ? And it happened again and again. ^ Then 
he received a letter from Hunt who had come to know of it, and 
it was a jag in their friendship, unhealed, until Hunt quite found 
Annie out, and wrote a long, considered letter announcing that 
Miss Miller could now sit to whom she liked and that he washed 
his hands of her. 

Brother William was quite decent about it, Lizzy said, treating 
her like a sister-in-law, finding means to convey to her his own 

<*^x/^^V^ , 
if X*c. 

fasi- r***++^Cy/ 

*~ P o &^ &^ 

impression of the matter, but standing up for Huiit " wholly 
blameless in the matter " and declaring Gabriel to be "properly 
but not 'gravely censurable. 53 
Not gravely ! Thus the brother, holding the scales evenly, 1 

1 I remember an instance of the Spartan impartiality of William Rossetti, 
even where his own affairs were concerned. His wife had inherited some family 
silver with a crest on it and displayed it on her dinner-table when there was com 
pany. He insisted on her keeping these items in a cupboard, for, if she wanted to 
go on using them, her husband must send in a return, in his capacity of Income 
Tai Commissioner. 


From a photograph 

although one dear to him was concerned. And this is what 
Lizzy really thought about it. 1 

She must fly anyhow, anywhere, as far as possible from 
Gabriel and his minions. Her sister took her for a hydropathic 
cure, to a quiet little village in the Derbyshire hills, now a famous 
Spa where, as advertised, " the cold winds spend their violence 
on the huge eminences that environ it, but merely sweep the 
valley " and " even winter is shorn of its terrors and its very 
frosts are imbued with an exhilarating temperament." There 
" water, cliffs and baths are more carbonised than anywhere in 
the kingdom " and the waters, " slightly tepid in taste," drunk 
freely, are especially beneficial in cases of consumption and 
nervous diseases. They chose a Temperance Hotel, Mrs. Cart- 
lidge's, Lime Tree View, which the Wheelers of Bamford had 
recommended, and left her there to take the waters or not as she 
liked. She never touched them. It was a rest she had wanted 
and a respite from the feverish life with Gabriel in London. 

She did not propose to pay any visits yet : she must be able to 
produce her young man when she left cards on Mrs. Gilchrist 
of Cartlidge Hall and Mrs. Middleton of Hope two of the 
high-up ones. There were plenty more distant connections. A 
Cartledge-Eyre of Owlbrooke had married with a Greaves of 
Rowlee near Hope or was it William Greaves of Twothornfield 
in Edale ? Gabriel had got the pedigree. He loved it. The 
family had come down ia the world, but its ancient wealth a^d 
consequence were patent. One of the eccentric Miss Greaves 
had left the Siddalls a lot of money, so James, who had seen the 
papers proving it, always said, but everything had got mislaid, 

1 We can tell, for Gabriel, though he buried his own poems, kept hers. 

O God ! forgive me that I merged 

My life into a dream of love ! 
Will tears of anguish never wash 

The poison from my blood ? 
. . . * * 

Love floated on the mists of morn 

And rested on the sunset's rays ; 
He calmed the thunder of the storm 

And lighted all my ways. 

Oh Heaven help my foolish heart 

Which heeded not the passing time 
That dragged my idol from its place 

And shattered all its shrine ! 

o 193 

by way of a traitorous certain John Sanderson of Sheffield, and 
her father was always wasting money in trying to get the better 

of him. . , , 

She was leaving Hope for an excursion with Gabriel wiien sue 
should have forgiven him and let him come to her. 

Meanwhile, still, sad and suspicious, she wandered about, 
in the woods under the cliffs and along the banks of the 
Derwent on its pebbly bed, avoiding the set Zigzag Walks 
which invalids slowly scaled to attain to the Heights of 
Abraham or the Hill of Masson, and went round by ways she 
had discovered for herself: through Harp Edge Field and The 
Plantation and on to Cromford, taking the stone wicket by the 
last cottage of the upper wood, till she came to a lonely, coldish 
place near the Toll Bar Corner, right under the lee of a great 
cliff, and stopped long to rest in a dell among masses of fern and 
lichenous rock and the deep shade of elder trees and the young 
grass growing under like a scanty beard, the greenest, wickedest- 
looking grass she had ever seen, probably full of snakes, that she 
was not afraid of. It reminded her of Scalands Gate. As the 
weather got warmer she would be at her old tricks, lying in the 
long grass here in northern Derbyshire as she had done in Sussex, 
amusing herself by scribbling Gabriel in his letters encouraged 
her to offer herself this outlet ; it was the recipe of his master, 
Hugo, for the alleviation of real or fancied sorrow : 

LaissfZ tout-ce-qui tremble 

He was right, for the verses which she posted to him began 
to show a less terrible mental oscillation than they had done. 1 
They suggested more the sobbing sleep of a child that has been 
affronted by its elders, half-pacified, half-angry still. . . . 

Slow days have passed that make a year, 

Slow hours that make a day, 
Since I could take my first dear love, 

And kiss him the old way : 
Yet the green leaves touch me on the cheek, 

Dear Christ, this month of May. 

The river ever running down 

Between its grassy bed, 
The voices of a thousand birds 

That clang above my head, 
Shall bring me to a sadder dream 

When this sad dream is dead. 


A silence falls upon my heart, 

And hushes all its pain. 
I stretch my hands in the long grass, 

And fall to sleep again, 
There to lie empty of all love, 

Like beaten corn of grain. 

Calmer : 

Oh, never weep for love that's dead, 

Since love is seldom true, 
But changes his fashion from blue to red, 

From brightest red to blue, 
And love was born to an early death 

And is so seldom true. 

Sweet, never weep for what cannot be, 

For this God has not given : 
If the merest dream of love were true, 

Then, Sweet, we should be in heaven ; 
And this is only earth, my dear, 

Where true love is not given. 

Resigned and bitter : 

O silent wood, I enter thee 

With a heart so full of misery 

For all the voices from the trees 

And the ferns that cling about my knees. 

Can God bring back the day when we two stood 
Beneath the clinging trees in that dark wood ? 

And God did, in a way. . . . 

1 Ope not thy lips, thou foolish one, 

Nor turn to me thy face. 
The blasts of Heaven shall strike me down 
Ere I will give thee grace. 

And turn away thy false dark eyes 

Nor gaze into my face : 
Great love I bore thee ; now great hate 

Sits grimly in its place. 




IN town, where best he liked to be, keeping fairly healthy 
in spite of the smell of the river, the needs of man's 
sexual existence accomplished without recourse to the 
female's harassing necessity of legal sanctions : in Lizzy's 
absence, working (his friends were all agreed on this point and 
even honest Brown conceded it) far better, Gabriel Rossetti 
looked over his sweetheart's verses with the impartiality of a critic 
tinged with the remorse of a human being who knows that, by 
his own behaviour, he has been the occasion of the wail in them. 
He took note with a view to the effect on the reader, apart from 
himself who knew all the circumstances, of the literary liberties 
she took the permutations of time and place the substitution 
of Gabriel Rossetti, absent and unkind, for Walter Deverell, 
loving and dead, the silly shots at himself. 

Knowing full well what he was doing to her and she to him 
he made allowances for the passion, thwarted, thrown back on 
itself, immanent in one relegated by illness to the backwaters 
of Life and Love 

How can it, ah, how can Love's eye see true 
That is so worn with watching and with tears ? 

But he fancied that a milder, quieter mood was setting in, 
signs of a comfortable cynicism. " For this is only earth, my dear" 
Complaisance with the changing fashion of love, some recognition 
of the worthJessness of fair words ! Surely the poems held remi 
niscence of past ease joy of which this author might again 
be susceptible ? " Can God bring back the day when we two 
stood, Beneath the dinging trees " in that dark wood at Scalands 
when their engagement was but young. Perhaps God could ? 
He must take time soon to go to Matlock, see her and remind 
her of what happened in Scalands Wood and walk in the other 
dells that she would show him, and take her to Haddon and 


Hope and the Shivering Mountain which had so inflamed his 
imagination when she told him about it long ago. But, mean 
while, his days were very full. 

For, alack, when she was relenting towards him with the canny 
deliberation that women will use towards their men, trusting 
Love to let them rave awhile maybe a long while correspond 
ing in their minds to the harm which has been wrought them, 
the female playing with the redoubtable male sex-urge of which 
she knows so little and most of it wrong, denying the need that 
can in him be so easily satisfied outside the " golden girdling 
bar " which circumscribes her, all was lost. While The Sid, 
relying on her looks (for she was still beautiful enough) and the 
queer half-magical power she possessed over him, was paltering 
over issues positively vital to her, the discs of the kaleidoscope 
had fallen together into another pattern and the Thelema scheme 
was partially realised. " We shall have our monastery, Crom. 
There is a good chance of its being founded," Jones had written 
to Price years ago. " I know it will, some day." 

In Oxford. 

The members of the old Order of Sir Galahad who had " gone 
down " were in the habit of putting themselves into slow Parlia 
mentary trains they were poor to visit the men of their time 
who were still " up." Fulford and Crom Price regularly, Jones 
and Morris intermittently, absented themselves awhile from 
felicity (the hours with Gabriel) so that they might experience 
an old thrill ; a bout of single-stick with Maclaren for the sake 
of Morris' figure and then out to his place at Summerstown, so 
that Jones might get a background for his first picture (The 
Blessed Damo%el}\ evenings with beautiful Faulkner, now Mathe 
matical Lecturer to the University, in his panelled rooms, tea 
and toast from nine onwards. They would turn a table in Pem 
broke with Fulford and smoke a churchwarden with Dixon, who 
had wanted to be an artist but was so poor that he was obliged 
to take Orders. (The daring " blokes " who had embraced art 
as a profession were the envy of those who had drifted into safe 
places in the University.) 

Morris and Jones had never rested until they got Gabriel 
down and introduced him to Oxford as " the greatest man in 
Europe." He took his place at once and became easily king 


nothing else would have served him. This man, built all on 
grand lines even to his vices, without vanity, pettiness or pre 
tension except to reign this charmer with no obvious weapon 
of conquest except his voice and his serviceable memory, without 
the steady ingraining of University culture acquired in the course 
of many terms by those who had led him there, found himself 
thoroughly at home by virtue of his academic grounding, his 
natal Latin civilisation and the foreign aplomb with which he was 
able to counter the terrible Oxford manner. He feared neither 
Don nor Devil, not Liddell the magnificent, nor slender and 
elegant Acland, nor even crusty Pattison, asking with his well- 
known insufferability if Mr. Rossetti would have all men 
painters and no other occupation for the rest of mankind ? The 
other answered promptly, Yes. Quite soon everyone came to 
accept Rossetti at his own valuation, from the brilliant Faulkner 
down to the Irish architect, Benjamin Woodward, " the stillest 
creature that ever breathed, out of an oyster." x 

Riding and single-stick did not appeal to Rossetti and 
Maclaren's gymnasium knew him not. There seemed then but 
slight chance of his ever growing fat and bandy, as Morris 
threatened to do. He never walked but he liked being rowed, 
and Faulkner, a great oarsman, liked rowing him. It was terribly 
hot, the summer of Klinkenfues 3 comet, 2 with " its draggled tail 
like a sad turkey. 5 ' 3 In these days the river was the only com 
fortable place. Rossetti did not, could not row, but he could 
sit letting his beautiful hand trail in the water composing and 
declaiming sonnets while they rowed and sweated. 

Water, for anguish of the solstice : nay, 

But dip the vessel slowly nay, but lean 
And hark how at its verge the wave sighs in 

Reluctant. Hush ! Beyond all depth away 
The heat lies silent at the brink of day. 

Nay but he was never so happy in his life again, not even much 
later when he had occasion to write Nuptial Sleep. 

Faulkner took them wherever they liked, upstream towards 

1 This " Thirteenth-century Gothic man," as they called him, was responsible 
for the New Crown Insurance Office, just opposite Chatham Place. He had won 
in the battle between that style and the Palladian and his design for the new Oxford 
Museum had been accepted a momentous decision for the three friends whose 
praises had been duly^sung to him at WaUingford by Ruskin, Acland and Scott. 

2 People were afraid it would collide with the earth and made their wills in 

3 C. Bowles. 


the " far-off, other end of Thames " or towards Town where, 
luckily, they had a pied-a-terre. For when Allingham came, he 
wanted to be taken to a certain village within a few miles 
of London. When they got there, however, it was discovered 
that between them they had not enough to pay for beds at the 
inn and they decided to walk the six remaining miles to Holborn, 
where Red Lion Mary, summoned at once, produced extra mat 
tresses Rossetti naturally would not, at all costs to others, go 
to sleep by himself in Chatham Place and next morning 
Jones got up early, took his easel out into the square and began 
to paint the lilies, just blowing, for The Blessed. So he really 
could not bring himself to obey Rossetti's orders to accompany 
him to Oxford and hear about a proposal Woodward wanted to 
make them . . . something good ! But he thought he might 
possibly manage it for the last Sunday in that month, if that 
would do. This business, as it happened, affected the mere 
disposition of Jones' time for many months to come, while it 
altered the course of Morris' whole life. And, after all, Jones 
had to make time to run down for the day, to Leyton. His 
Blessed Damozel had to wait. 

Under a cherry tree in Mrs. Morris' garden the three friends 
sat the whole day, talking over Woodward's offer. The ten bays 
above the gallery in the new Debating Room at Oxford were 
to be filled with paintings and, all-powerful for the moment, 
he had nominated his friends. The artists were to give 
their work for nothing but live free. The Union would pay 
their lodging and travelling expenses and the cost of scaffolding 
and painting materials. The work all to be done under the 
direction of Rossetti ; the executants selected by him, one for 
each bay, say ten artists in all. Rossetti meant to invite Prinsep, 
because he liked going to Little Holland House, and Spencer 
Stanhope and Hungerford Pollen and Hughes, and dear old 
Brown, of course. He himself would undertake two of the 
bays possibly three. There was the roof above to be covered 
with a simple floriated design" Suit me 1 " said modest Morris. 
Faulkner, too, might be useful at that. He was not bad at 
mathematical patterns. The subjects, said Gabriel, were all to 
be taken from the Morte d 9 Arthur and done in tempera, a medium 
he knew nothing about as yet but would soon find out.^ The 
application of colour to architecture was a novel idea 
Woodward's own. 

All right. Rossetti, who had never read a line of Malory, 


made himself conversant with that work. Jones gave up his 
Blessed Damozel and Morris put off his visit to the Manchester 
Exhibition. Brown, sounded, could do nothing. He had one 
of the frescoes for Wellington commissioned, and the exhibition 
of Pre-Raphaelite paintings he had got up in Russell Place at a 
cost of forty pounds was slow in its returns, and little Arthur, 
whom Emma had neglected at a critical period because of The 
Sid, was ailing. But he would run down and look at them now 
and then. For Lizzy's journey to Matlock Gabriel still owed 
him money, but Brown forbore to dun him till August, when 
Gabriel, disgusted at himself for " forcing you to ask for it after 
all your kindness/' paid something back. 1 


There began for the Three something in the nature of a con 
tinuous picnic, a Summer School that lasted well into the winter. 
Morris went down first and took rooms in The High for himself 
and Jones ; Rossetti came and settled down with his two pupils to 
paint little grey Oxford in that primary colour which the Brother 
hood so much affected. 

They were by way of having no canons but those of art, playing 
ducks and drakes with Life, but taking these other matters with 
deep seriousness. They were full of magnanimity and other- 
worldliness : " Don't let anyone persuade you that you are a 
fool for not looking after your own interests God doesn't call 
such people fools ! " So the youthful Jones. But they neglected 
those of the Corporation that employed them, wasting both its 
time and its paints without compunction. " Oh, that's 
nothing ! " Rossetti said, carelessly upsetting a whole pot of 
lapis lazuli " we often do that." And writing to ask to have 
sent him by bearer " a crumb of violet-carmine " a guinea's 
worth, say, which was never used. And Morris hurtling a 
fifteenth-century folio at the head of a workman, missing his 
thick head but taking a panel out of the door ! They all knew 
no^ more of tempera than Rossetti did of wood-engraving. The 
paint would not lie ; the walls were not even ; between the bays 
occurred certain ridges over which you had to train a face, if it 
happened to come there, like a creeper. There were windows 

1 Rossetti was at least disinterested; Munro told Birkbeck Hill that had he given 
to small saleable pictures the time he had given to his large ones for the Union, 
he could have made a thousand guineas. 


in these bays that made anything painted on the wall invisible ; 
so they were whitened to tone the light, and Morris thought it 
funny to cover the surface with wombats ! Amateurs were 
roped in. Faulkner would make arabesques and lozenges when 
required, while Price would stipple in the black lines. They 
perhaps knew as much about it as the others. 1 

The expenses of " our Oxford labour of love/' as defrayed by 
Oxford, were heavy, but at least the artists did not spend money 
on models but sat to each other. Morris was good for Sir 
Tristram or Sir Launcelot, in real armour made by a little smith 
near the castle, and Jones, with his long, straight, colourless hair 
and his pale blue eyes, for any sort of " woeful wight, alone and 
palely loitering." Prinsep, only nineteen and weighing sixteen 
stone, did for kings, while Price, for priests, would stand for 
hours in a dalmatic. For lovely and absent women they made 
shift with Johnson's housemaid or one of the College bedmakers. 
Rossetti did Lizzy as Guenevere, from memory. 


Deliberately, seriously and extravagantly undertaken, the work 
could not be said to march on apace, but those were glorious 
days for the jolly three, " living Malory " for months in this 
little walled town of low houses of grey and yellow stone, pebble- 
dashed, interspersed with palaces; pacing the narrow streets 
where every day clattered along, under over-arching gables, 
cavalcades of gracious Youth (knights, so you may imagine them) 
passing through the city gates out into the green, pied meadows 
beyond the ramparts, where lists might be set and tournaments 
held and men could "sweive and strain" till blood flaked the 
buttercups. Everybody rode in Oxford, and the caterers for this 
amusement ostlers and livery stable keepers whom they liked 
to call squires and falfreniers abounded. There was nothing 
else to do but row and ride and study. ^ In the evenings, back in 
their digs, Gabriel would read aloud to' Jones, sedulous, narrow- 
chested, bending over his pen-and-ink drawing, while Morris 
cooked fish or toasted bread and buttered it on Mr. Johnson's 
nicely varnished table. 

1 William Michael Rossetti, January i8th, 1858, to Allingham: "The things 
there (at Oxford) are very new, curious and with a ruddy bloom of health and pluck 
about them. Gabriel's very beautiful, both in expression and colour. Jones' 
next and to some extent more ; exactly the right kind of thing, VaPs promises 
real power." 


They were so happy at home that they could hardly bear to 
accept the hospitalities of Oxford or stand even the very slight 
amount of formality required at Dr. Acland's table. As for 
Mrs. LiddelFs invitations to Christ Church, they found it neces 
sary to break camp and rush up to town sooner than attend 
Lorina's dinners. Their dress-clothes were non-existent or 
unsuitable. Rossetti, day in, night out, wore the plum-coloured 
coat he was still wearing in the Haunted Glen at Penkill ten 
years later, and Top's only two white ties were making a loop 
in his window to hold his brushes, drying. But he amiably 
would wash the so expensive blue paint from his hair, prepare an 
apple-pie bed for one or other of his friends, doff his workman's 
blouse and endure what he called the " ridiculous arrangement 
of one coat with no back and another with no front " to repair 
to a gathering at the Rose of Sharon's Acland, in whose favour 
they made an exception. 




MISS SIDDAL now wrote from Number Seven, 
Durham Road, Sheffield, where she was staying with 
some cousins of hers in order to attend the School 
of Art there on Wednesdays and Saturdays. 

It was the last splash, the last lark, the last independent gesture 
of her life except one. 

The Ibbitts, in whose house she was living so as to be near 
the School, were relations, descended from one Anna Siddal, who 
had married twice : first a man called Hodskin (her son by him 
happened to be the auctioneer with whom that tiresome Mrs. 
Combe of Oxford had chosen to confound Lizzy's father) and, 
secondly, a Sheffield man, William Ibbitt. Anna's children 
therefore were not Lizzy's first, but hef second cousins or 
cousins-german she did not know which ! 

Miss Sarah Ann Ibbitt was a teacher of music and drawing, 
while her brother was musical. Quite humble, Gabriel believed. 
The young man worked in an organ factory : his sister went out 
to give lessons. This set of her relations did not interest Gabriel 
as much as the ones at Hope. She was keeping Hope to take 
him to if ever he could tear himself away from Oxford and come 
and see her. 

A girl she met at the Ibbitts', Annie Drury, had got her taken 
into the school, informally. She was not a registered pupil. 
The Head Master had liked the look of her. She had hesi 
tated, thinking of cross Mr. Deverell but Mr. Young-Mitchell 
was charming. For the rest, it was rather like Somerset House, 
of which she had caught glimpses on her way in and out to sit 
to Walter, though women were admitted on Wednesdays and 
Saturdays. But not into " The Life." She almost immediately 
got into " The Figures " that is to say, " The Antique." 
And on other days she and Annie went, accompanied by young 
Mr. Ibbitt when he could get a day or an afternoon off from the 


works, to places of interest in the neighbourhood, by rail or 
omnibus or " Shank's Mare," as Miss Ibbitt called it. Lizzy 
could always walk with the best of them. They did Haddpn 
and Hathersage and the Peak Country, going as everyone did, 
down the Blue John Mine, and Mr. Ibbitt, as everyone did, 
bought his young lady a Blue John ring of amethystine fluor. 
Another time it was Eldon Hole, a chasm a hundred and 
twenty feet across with a silly little railing over it, and she 
frightened them by pretending to totter. And Mam Tor, 
the mountain of shale and sandstone in alternate stratification, 
Willie said, so soft and friable that it fell out in particles and 
the whole hill seemed to shake. Once they were within a mile 
and a half of Hope and got a nice view of it on a little hill 
between the Noe river and the Bradwell Water where it lay 
and of the church where her ancestors lay entombed, 

Willie Ibbitt was at her feet, and Mr. Young-Mitchell was 
supposed to admire her. So did the two assistant masters, 
Godfrey Sykes and Charles Green, in a less discreet fashion, 
while her fellow-students, Hugh Stannus, Stirling Howard, and 
Ferguson Branson, M.D., and four Henrys Lomas, Colman, 
Hems and Gamble ran about and fetched things and sharpened 
pencils for her. 

Then the girl students soon set about to make it unpleasant 
for the favoured one, hitting on what was to them her weakest 
point her outlandish style of dressing. For this year all the 
women were enlarging their circumferences in some way or 

The girl students would have it that Miss Siddal acted from 
motives of economy proper crinolines * were dear and always 
getting out of order the steels poked out and stuck through the 
stuff and, even if you made out the necessary contour with 
petticoats, the washing of eight or more came expensive. A 
certain amo'unt of fullness Lizzy wore as a concession to the mode, 

1 In 1854 the crinoline appeared in Paris. Four narrow steels, each covered with 
tape, were run into a calico slip. The steel nearest the waist was to be four nails from 
it and one and three-quarters in length : the remaining three only two and a half 
yards in length and one at six nails distance from the upper steel, while the other 
two had to be each two nails distance from the second steel. None must meet in 
front by a quarter of a yard, except the one nearest the waist. The flounce of the 
skirt was generally from fifteen to seventeen inches deep. 

Even Mrs. Browning confessed to a weakness for the new style and bought a 
crinoline. It was nice and cool for Italy and, besides, Robert insisted on her dressing 
like other people. 


but she managed that beautifully and passed serenely about among 
the easels without upsetting them or asking that room should be 
made for her. The girls made caricatures of the simple outline 
she presented and left them about for her to find. But it was 
Mr. Young-Mitchell who happened to pick one up. Realising 
the spite that drove the clever pencil, his black eyes flashing, he 
mounted the estrade and said this sort of thing must be put a 
stop to. So she triumphed, for they were nearly all in love with 
him and afraid of incurring his ire. 

She could do as she liked with him or any of the masters. 
Foreign travel had given her a certain aplomb : consequence and 
the uplift of the spirit that goes with it suited her looks and the 
" Comet Summer " was good for her complaint. " Prettier 
now, in a more usual way." l Gabriel liked getting her cheerful 
letters. It was nice to know that the restless spirit for whose 
fate he was considered responsible was more or less assuaged. 
She had found " something to keep herself alive with " (her own 
phrase), something safer than going down to the sea in boats at 
Hastings or over-walking herself as she had done at Clevedon. 
In her art he had long since ceased to take interest, now that the 
silly girl had given up the Ruskin subsidy. 

And more and more he was coming to appreciate the 
society of men : which he had hankered after ever since the 
break-up of the P.R.B. Morris and Jones suited him better 
than Hunt, Woolner and even Deverell. They, too, were 
content more than content. They had their Thelema now, 
without the help of some fellows who had discussed it with 
them when they were undergrads. The present members of the 
Pembroke set were worldly, permitting themselves to make fun 
of The Heir, bored by these three who always insisted on dis 
cussing paintings which they had never seen and did not care to 
see. Their club was the Old Mortality, and their organ Under 
graduate Papers, edited by Edwin Hatch, " a pompous empty- 
headed fellow," and Nichol, " a handsome Scotchman." And 
one evening Hatch brought to them in Orange Street a little 
fellow, five feet four-and-a-half inches in height, with a pouting 
mouth like a fledgeling's, set in a white face, red hair like Lizzy's 
and the same long, thin fingers. Rather ridiculous, wearing 
large full trousers which fell over his feet, shod in little low shoes 
which he crossed and recrossed as he stood and wearing a coat that 
allowed for his dreadful sloping shoulders. 

1 So said one of Gabriel's " lady friends." 

He was a Swinburne of Capheaton, a family which boasted 
descent from the five who were " there before the Conquest/* 
an aristocrat with republican leanings : as a lad in Paris he had 
refused to take off his hat to Louis Napoleon. His father, a 
sailor, seldom at home, had married an Ashburnham. Algernon 
was their first child, born all but dead and not expected to live 
more than an hour, with a right hand so weak that he wrote pot 
hooks and hangers all his life ; nervous starting as if he were 
hit when spoken to suddenly ; fanciful, seeing his own face in a 
mirror he would smash it, thinking that someone was laughing 
at him. But, withal, the pluck of the devil and the most beautiful 
manners of his time. 

In his high-pitched Northumbrian sing-song he read them 
Queen TseuLt, just composed for Undergraduate Papers, right 
through, with tremendous zest and earnestness. Impossible to 
bore those three, inured to all the wilful longueurs of poets ! 
Morris, twiddling his watch-chain, incapable of jealousy but not 
favourably impressed by the personality of the little author, 
declared that it was far better than his own Dying Blanch el 
Jones would have it that the boy was going to be greater 
than Shelley, Tennyson or Wordsworth. Thus encouraged, 
young Algernon they were already " Gab " and " Top " to 
him read his other " piece " about Rosamond, Queen of the 
Gepidas, and Morris vowed that this was better than Sir Peter 
Harpdon's End, which he had just finished. He then read them his 
Helen of Troy, and Swinburne followed with some of Chastelard, 
on which he was now engaged. 

From this day onward there was a fourth every night in 
George Street, and the noses of the two Old Mortality men were 
completely put out of joint. Hatch, leaving England to take up 
a lucrative professorship shortly after this, wrote a pathetic 
farewell letter 2 to Swinburne. He might never see him again 
. . . perhaps it would be as well if he did not. . . . " I shall 
never forget how I loved you once, but I feel that the chain that 
bound us is somewhere snapped asunder." 

By Rossetti, of course healthy-minded, when all was said 
and done. 

1 Earty consigned to the flames. 

2 A marginal interpolation in Swinburne's handwriting on the letter, preserved 
" For the matter of that, rot I ... No golden band between us at all," 



What did happen in Oxford ? As Algernon Swinburne read 
out that night from his own Marian play 

When I was fashioned first and given such Jife 
As goes with a sad end. . . . 

" Would it not have been " so the Master who, in the 

course of his duty, had looked into Swinburne's room and found 

the boy lying on his bed " reading French novels and " said 

at Tennyson's dinner-table " would it not have been better " 
hesitating " if he had not lived to reach the writing stage at 

Tennyson always laid the leading astray of him whom he called 
the " puny youth big lyre " down to Rossetti, and told Jones so. 
Rossetti indignantly repudiated the accusation in a letter to 
Tennyson " You remember what I told you in a cab." Tenny 
son did not remember what Rossetti had told him in a cab. He 
had no patience with that kind of thing. 

Who or what did corrupt the little man ? Himself seems to 
imply that these compared with him hearty young ruffians 
sophisticated him, with his polite allusion to " those past days in 
Oxford when you fellows might have respected my young adol 
escence. ... I don't say that you did. . . ." Friendly chaff, 
sexual vanity, callous indifference ? He was proud of his dere 
liction and played with it, as children will lave their pretty hands 
in the gutter. 

The morning sun beneath the stars that fled 

With twilight through the moonless morning air, 

. . . the hopes that triumphed and fell dead, 
The sweet swift eyes and songs of hours that were, 

These ma/st thou not give back for ever. . . , 

But flowers thou may'st, and winds and hours of ease, 
And all its April to the world thou may'st 

Give back, and half my April back to me. 

It was, perhaps, as he said, only half his April, as it were, only 
half a reproach . . . one does not know? Inexpressibly sad, 
like the memory of a slight or a blow implicit in a good dog's 
eyes. And as an accusation it loses half its force when we know 
that it was Swinburne who extended to Rossetti " the loan of 


De Sude (as Rossetti innocently spells it), the most immoral book 
in the whole world. 35 1 

It was not lent him by Milnes. Milnes' mantle or " utter 
absence of mantle " 2 will not do to cover the " importation of 
the Marquis." Swinburne had a copy of Justine at Eton. 


From his mother, the Lady Jane, brought up and educated 
in Florence, speaking French and Italian like English, he may 
have inherited, together with the red hair of the Ashburnhams, 
the morbidity that was the Janus face of her prudery. Lady 
Jane's boy was not allowed to read Byron or even Shakespeare 
except in Mr. Bowdler's edition. 

Murder will out so will the macabre. There are unplumbed 
wells of Freudian suggestion here and in young Algernon's family 
history. Who knows the tragic secret connected with the house 
at Niton where he was born at any rate lived as a child \ 

1 Justine et Juliette, by the Marquis de Sade, a name unmentionable, unwritable 
in those days. So Aliingham, who was present at Tennyson's dinner, supposed. 
But even Heads of Colleges were not such Dryasdusts as they may have looked and 
were up to what might be going on that night in the last house by the Bridge 
Merriot's, in the 'seventies. 

2 Fide Tennyson. 




ABOUT the great Manchester Exhibition, opened by the 
Queen and Prince Albert in May of this year, there 
was a conspiracy of silence among right-thinking but 
needy artists. Their best buyers, the great steel, coal 
and shipping magnates of the North, were more or less responsible 
for its ineptitudes. So painters came never to mention the 
Exhibition, except to inquire about trains to go there and seize 
the opportunity of seeing some of the really fine examples 
borrowed from the Continental Galleries. The works were 
arranged chronologically, beginning with Giotto and Van Dyck 
and ending with the last Pre-Raphaelite flicker in the canvases 
of Millais and young Leighton, who was rivalling him. Brown's 
Liverpool Prize picture, for which he had- received thirty-five 
guineas, hung on the ceiling, where Christ washed Peter's feet 
for all men (with eyes in the tops of their heads) to see. Ruskin, 
who was there for three days in July lecturing mindful of the 
souls of his audience of operatives who should be given bread 
instead of stones if he could manage it sent some Turners 
Laugharne, Eggleston, ?roy and Virginia Water. 

In the end everybody seemed to have been in Manchester some 
time that summer, except Gabriel Rossetti, and there is no 
record of his ever having set foot in the town. 

His Lizzy did. A special grant was made by the Manchester 
Committee for the use of schools, and one September morning 
a hundred and fifty people left Sheffield by special train, among 
whom was Miss Elizabeth Siddal, strong and lively, her 
hair and complexion as bright as ever, taking an active part in 
the excursion programme and using her influence with the Head 
to get places for several of her friends who could, by no stretch 
of the imagination, be called Art Students the Ibbitts and her 
sister Lydia, who had come over from Bamford, and a Mrs. 
Button. But Charley Green attended to it. 

They started at 8.30 and were timed to return at 5.30, It 
p 209 

was a wet day and the rain came in at the windows, so all the 
way to Manchester, Miss Siddal wore a cloak over the new dress 
she and Miss Ibbitt had finished, sitting up late the night before, 
in order to shield it, as they came near Manchester, from the 
" blacks " dreaded of ladies, that drove in from its thousands of 
smoking chimneys. 

When they got out, ladies in crinolines and gents in white ties, 
and all passed into the long matchboarding corridor that led from 
the station to the Exhibition, the school party got a shock. 
Though Miss Siddal was wearing the fashionable bonnet, nearly 
dropping off behind, drab in colour but with a fascinating pink 
lining to frame the face, they quite expected to see, when she 
took off her waterproof, the plain falling folds of the dress " with 
out bombast " they had made fun of. But no ! Since the 
episode of the caricature she had been determined to show them 
that, though she preferred simplicity in dressing, she had not 
lived in Paris a year for nothing. She could wear the crinoline 
better than most people, for in height she excelled, while the 
other girls as a rule were dumpy, with wide hips from which the 
round cage of folds depended, so that the width at the waist 
of the dress corresponded to that at the hem. Lizzy's dove- 
coloured silk gown was looped over a crinoline in the fashionable 
manner like theirs, but her narrow hips made all the difference : 
her "Tower of Malakof" swayed gracefully. Her skirt was of 
stuff, worn, according to the newest fashion, with a silk casaque, 
or jacket, and with her figure, her white face and her hair when 
artlessly, as her manner was, she had taken her bonnet off and let it 
show she made a sensation. So Miss Drury, who was pleased 
for her friend and shared her triumphs, has recorded. And young 
Mr. Ibbitt became quite particular in his attentions, proud of 
passing with the lovely, fashionable Miss on his arm, in and out 
of the great pillars wreathed with shawls and hung with carpets, 
past the crystal fountain in the middle, thirty feet high and the 
statue of the Amazon on horseback with a life-size stuffed tiger 
fastened on by its claws to the horse's neck in front, almost the 
first thing you saw on entering. And you had to go round one 
side to see her face and the other to see that of the horse, trans 
fixed in terror so that you expected to hear him scream. And on 
into the French Section, where there was a tree with mechanical 
birds that chirped hopping about from branch to branch, and 
one that tried to eat a beetle rather a failure this, for it never 
quite got its head down. 


Lizzy led Annie Drury away from these horrible staring things 
into the quieter picture galleries; they looked out for Mr. 
Ruskin's Turners, so that Lizzy could tell him whom Lizzy 
considered she had perhaps rather neglected, that she had seen 
them when she got back to town. A tall young man stooping 
to see them better, got into conversation with her and Annie. 
He introduced himself as a friend of Mr. Ruskin's and of Millais', 
to whom he too had sat Charles Howell. He said he had seen 
her at the Rossettis' he had not. That he was obliging Mr. 
Ruskin by looking in to see how the Turners were getting on 
that was true. Mr. Ruskin had feared, since the opening day, 
that they might suffer, since they were put where they were 
totally unprotected from the sun. " And they have ! " he said. 
" Look, the rose-colour has all gone out of the sunset since one 
last saw it at his house ! " 

He said there were plenty of fakes there he could tell one 
anywhere : his father was a copyist in Portugal. She did not 
take to him, he was too outrj-loo1dn.g 9 like an actor. But it 
would stimulate Willie Ibbitt, and she let Mr. Howell take her 
to see the Triumphal Arch at Trafford and the panorama of 
chimneys in full blast at Kearsall, two thousand at least, and 
their smoke staining the skies, which might have been blue. 

The Arch, so the guide-book said, was Italian in style, thirty- 
three feet wide and forty-eight feet high from soffit he explained 
what that was to base, a light stone-colour with maroon cloth 
draped over it in festoons and gold tassels at the corners. Feathers 
covered the keystone of the Arch, while from it drooped gracefully 
garlands of flowers attached to the entablature and side arches. 
A frieze in Arabesque style, turreted at the top, supported pot- 
plants lent by the Royal Botanical Society of Manchester. A 
bust of the Queen, again flanked by pot-plants, was posed majes 
tically behind what looked like ropes of red sausages. They 
laughed at it together. Standing there by the side of the man 
who, next to Morris, was to become the cleverest art decorator 
of his time, she discovered that she also had taste. She told him 
that she was engaged to Mr. Rossetti. 

On the way home Willie Ibbitt proposed and she com 
municated the fact of her engagement to him also, and he said 
she was a young sly-boots. 


Gabriel, getting Jones to open his letters for him and in most 
cases reply to them, found time to run up to Matlock soon after 
this, where, to be sure, The Sid was back to receive him. He 
had heard something of her Manchester triumphs as well as of 
Ruskin's vexation over the baked drawings, from this very cheeky 
Howell, whom he often met in Albany Street. 

He put up, with her, at Mrs. Cartlidge's and, when it was wet, 
they stayed at home and made portraits of anyone who would 
give them a sitting. Gabriel did a good head of an old lady, 
Mrs. Wetherall, and one of Mrs. Cartlidge's son, an artist too. 
When it was fine they made the regular excursions to Chats- 
worth, Haddon and The Peak. It was nicer for " Guggums " 
than going about with Willie Ibbitt, for, although " Gug " did 
not know the place-names or buy you fluor brooches or paper- 
knives, he made far more interesting and romantic the places 
that happened to interest him. He said that the entrance into 
The Peak Cavern was like the beginning of an awful dream 
the little sad, white rope-maker's cottage, on which the sun never 
shone and the rain never fell, set against the cowering roof and 
descent of the pit, the posts for packthread and twine, sharp, 
white and blear against the hollow blackness, the shrill cries of 
the cordwainers and the hum of the wheels rising up from where 
the cave led, diminuendo, into depths where perhaps 

Alph, the sacred river ran 

Through caverns measureless to man 
Down to a sunless sea. 

^ And the Shivering Mountain he would not call it Mam Tor 
like a couchant beast shuddering with nervousness, over Eldon 
Hole, whence its fate was to come ! And he was tremendously 
intrigued by the Ebbing and Flowing Well, just a seeming shallow 
pool lined with stones as if to form a trough for cattle, but in 
which a miracle accomplished itself, for every now and then a 
rush of water poured in when you least expected it, filling it to 
the depth of four feet or so and then ceasing as it came. . . 

One day they went to Castleton, for Hope, and looked across 
to the spire of St. Peter's-by-the-Roadside, the church holding, 
they believed, the tombs and entablatures of her ancestry. They 
walked through the valley, where there were Sheep Trials going 
on, and stopped to watch and rest before climbing the hill up to 


the village. Hope Hall, someone told them, was now a public- 
house, so they walked straight into the garth of the little stone 
church (Perpendicular so she told him, who did not know any 
thing of terms of architecture) with its chambered porch and 
clerestoried nave and broach spire, with a clock and six bells 
rebuilt, all, but in the fourteenth century. 1 Some Greaves 
relations were buried in the chancel whose entablatures she made 
him look at, and then, out into the graveyard under the sycamores 
and lime trees to sit, in the high moorland air, on the tomb of 
an ancestor, one Jacobus Sidall the proper way to spell her 
name ; why had Gabriel insisted on taking out the / and leaving 
in the d ? And there was the tomb of one Anna de Grant de 
Hope, who was married here in the seventeenth century and 
brought into the world a Christopher, ill-starred, who married 
an heiress, Rachel Greaves of Hathersage, but fell into misfortune. 
Ruined by the failure of the flax industry, he was forced to 
declare himself bankrupt and died of a broken heart, to be 
buried, away from here, in Sheffield, where he sang in the Cathe 
dral. That was where Father got his music and fiddling. 
Gabriel, who could write beautifully about music, really hated it, 
and she herself did not care about it much. The Greaves were 
of better blood even than the Sidalls, descending from a Knight 
of Beeley in the eleventh century perhaps if they went to 
Beeley they might find out some more about her people ? He 
fancied they had originally come from Manchester Slade Hall 
something Scott or Mr. Howitt had told him. . . . 

She left a card on Mrs. Middleton. Both the old Miss Greaves 
of Hope Hall, who used to drive about in a landau, smoking clay 
pipes (a legend which amused and intrigued Gabriel vastly), 
were now dead. It was one of them who had left that money to 
Lizzy's father, which he had been jockeyed out of by the lawyers. 
But he had now got all the evidence collected and was going to 
the Courts about it one day soon unless Clara carried out her 
threat to burn the lot so as to put an end to his worrying 
about it. 2 


It looked just now, for Lizzy, more like marriage than it had 
ever done before. Her lovely colour and renewed health, the 
attentions of Mr. Young-Mitchell, those of William Ibbitt and 

1 Restored hopelessly in 1880. 2 She did. 


Charley Green swayed Gabriel towards a desire for closer 
communion with her, only attainable in one way. 

But he could not marry her without money to support her and 
keep up the boundless extravagance by which his soul, more than 
his body, lived. Ruskin was not much good to him now, 
desperately disliking his present set of friends, especially Morris. 
He would have it that the period madness, in which Morris 
encouraged them, was safe to dish the P.R.B., once so far on the 
road to success, with their splendid catchword of a name and 
their new attractive style ; but lately they had been weakening, 
practically giving up the game, " leaving the opposite party 
(i.e. the R.A.) most untoward advantages." Ruskin always had a 
leaning towards this " opposite party," by way of Turner. He 
refused to help the P.R.B. with America, where an Exhibition 
was being got up, including specimens of British Art, " with 
a certain bias " towards a movement that, now that it was 
nearly dead, had become rather widely known. " No, I have 
no knowledge of America," he answered curtly, " although " 
(thinking of Norton) " I have some very good friends there." 
Yes, Rossetti would hate him for refusing to help, but " I do not 
choose." A business man, he knew full well that medievalism 
would not, in the long run, go down in America and considered 
that the drawings Rossetti was sending across would " put an 
end to any idea of his reputation ever beginning there ! " 1 

" Yours, in ^perfect sympathy," so he signed the letter. 

As punishment, perhaps, he was not allowed even to see his 
Ida's drawings before they were despatched to New York, where 
they were, as Ruskin prophesied, laughed at. He might have 
saved her from that ! But not the rest. For though he kept 
running down to^ Oxford to ".see what They were doing," he 
was so out of their counsels, that he was not even told what was 
happening to her who was his special care. 

1 William Rossetti had been engaged as secretary for England by Captain Ruxton, 
who was arranging the British Section with Gambart. 


From a photograph 



OXONIAS, Qxonice, Primo D.G.R.fecit, under a drawing 
of Miss Jane Burden, of Oxford, done in this year, does 
not seem to mean anything but Rossetti's enthusiasm 
for, and celebration of, her native town. But it implies 
the ascension of a new star that is to say, a new model in 
his horizon and the declension of both Miss Herbert and Miss 
Siddal, There was never room for more than one (model) in 
Rossetti's heart. 

Janey was only a model to him in this, the beginning. 
The Union paintings and the Llandaff triptych, conceived 
though not begun, kept him running backwards and forwards 
between Oxford and London. Then news came of a benefit 
performance at Oxford in which Miss Herbert was to appear. 
Ruskin, who had procured him the commission, had signified his 
desire that "her beautiful face" should be seen in it. (Like 
Rossetti, he had never seen the lady except across the footlights.) 
Word was passed and a box at the Theatre Royal was taken. 
Rossetti would be down in time for the performance, while 
Allingham, who was staying with him in London, must go down 
in the morning and get himself a room, easy enough just then, 
for Term had not begun. He arrived about noon. Jones, and 
Faulkner whom he did not know but admired, met him at the 
station and took him to the King's Head in HolywelL They 
ordered their beer and sat to drink it on the balcony overlooking 
the inn yard and Burden's famous Livery Stables. The sun was 
shining, it was very hot. 

What happened while they sat there, reminded Allingham of 
the Model Hunts of the Prime. They all knew for the Prince 
was vocal of his needs that Gabriel, eager to secure Ruskin's 
advance on the second bay which he had undertaken to do, must 
get the Guenevere done and out of the way. His sister had 
kindly sat, but her face was not suitable so he was doing it from 


memory of Lizzy away in Matlock (quiet and tolerably happy by 
all accounts). m 

Gabriel and his need was always in his friends' minds. They 
saw a tall girl, bareheaded, her black burnished hair ^ shining 
beetle-wise in the strong sunlight, crossing the inn yard in front 
of them, carrying a jug of beer very carefully and herself like a 
goddess. Jones exclaimed, " The very thing for Gabriel!'' 
She must be procured for the Master at once, and it fell to one 
of them to do it as long, long ago poor dead Deverell had got 
hold of Elizabeth Eleanor Siddall for his friend. 

But that very evening, when they all met in the box at the 
Theatre, there the girl was, with another, in the stalls immedi 
ately below them ! They pointed her out to Gabriel, who was 
making a sketch of Miss Herbert which he meant to twist into 
a scroll and throw at her feet in lieu of a bouquet when she came 
forward to take her call. The others were to do the same. He 
looked down and agreed that the young woman's hair was 
magnificent though not the right colour for him (he was apt to 
depreciate their finds at first). 

Faulkner had been at pains to find out her name and where 
she lived. Her father kept the best riding horses in Oxford and 
his daughters rode them : even the most difficult ones. . People 
said that Miss Jane Burden, although she was more than usually 
tall, managed her horse beautifully as well as a circus rider. 
One of the two, Faulkner did not know which it was, was a 
bedmaker in College. 

They all agreed that she did not look English. Her hair, 
though not her height, her skin of a beautiful clear olive, her full 
lips were, to Faulkner, suggestive of Semitic origin. Allingham 
said that her surname was probably a variant of Burton one of 
the true gipsy patronymics. More like an Ionian Greek, Jones 
considered ! Well, God knows what strain the English were 
such a mixed race but surely a most wonderful creature, 
Allingham said, and no one contradicted him. And a perfect 
model for Guenevere, vice The Sid, away, ill. 

It would be all right about sitting, Faulkner thought, if the 
young lady herself was approached in the right way. 

No, her father had no objection to Miss Jane's sitting for her 
face. He told the young ambassadors that she had educated 


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v. K ,' ,\V^ i ' 

'S-. . ' ."^Tv t , , 
^;' ^-'^f' ' s * / 

%?/ /:^/^/i?v 

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From a photograph 

.herself and was a great reader, probably of the kind of poem they 
liked to illustrate. Faulkner had had a word or two with her 
self, and had found her kind and complaisant, with beautiful, 
dull, speedwell-blue eyes. Jones thought them finer than The 
Sid's light grey ones, which bulged a little. She was tall, taller 
than Lizzy. Both women had the long, columnar neck now so 
much admired by Gabriel. 

Apt to scent disloyalty to The Sid, Brown was pleased to 
observe Gabriel's apparent want of interest in the afternoon's 
work of Jones, Faulkner and Allingham. He said nothing. Nor 
did Morris, but he hardly took his eyes off Miss Burden and, 
during the second entr'acte, went and stood with his arms on the 
red plush ledge of the box, talking to Prinsep, but seeing her well 
through the back of his head, for, in the train next day, he wrote 
a poem describing her with accuracy. 

At a quarter to ten Brown and he started by the London & 
North- Western, with cheap return tickets ten and six for 
Manchester, where Dixon was going to put them up. 

But Morris missed the train coming back and stayed on with 
Dixon, visiting the Exhibition for the carved ivories, that was all. 
He returned to the house, to paint an apposite little water- 
colour the only one he ever did of Ihe Soldatfs Daughter in 
the Palace of Glass and to write Praise of my Lady. 

There it all is, her healthy pallor, her brow" o'ershadowed 
much by bows of hair " the slow, deliberate movements of her 
slim body, " like knight's pennon or slim tree. Set gently waving 
by the wind," that delighted him, 1 and her long hands, where 
along the wrist, " the veins crept languidly," her great sad violet 
eyes, her full lips, pale but " made to kiss," a trifle discontented 

Waiting for something, not for me. 

The modesty of him, " choking, growing faint " to watch the 
ways of a maid with a man ! And was the man, Rossetti, even 
then ? 2 


Let us hear what the women, fundamentally no judges of 
beauty, have to say about the looks of the daughter of " the 

1 Quiet, just letting it work, in a delicate woman the deadliest and most certain 
form of attraction for a burly man. 

2 So said Miss lonides. 


palefrenier " l Granting the young lady's eyes fine, Mrs. Boyce 
would have it that her complexion was coarse, her lips thick 
and niggerish : that she did not hold herself well and her hands 
and feet were too large. Developed perhaps overmuch by 
equestrian exercise so severe as to have been almost professional, 
it would seem? One lady told another lady 2 that Miss B. 
had for certain been in a circus, for no one, except a trained 
performer, could manage her steed as she could. " Extremely 
well educated by herself" said another, " but made no use of her 
knowledge because she hardly ever spoke too timid ! " 

And too tall. Every one of them canie to resent her noble 
inches. " She makes us all look like pygmies beside her," little 
Mrs. Bell Scott complained. 3 

Next day, in Johnson's rooms in George Street, where he and 
Jones had moved because the men coining up wanted their 
rooms (there was nowhere for Morris to sleep, so when he came 
back from Manchester he would have to find himself other digs), 
Dante Gabriel Rossetti made his first sketch of her. Miss 
Elizabeth Burden came along too, just to reconnoitre : perhaps 
what she saw pleased her, or perhaps Miss Jane preferred to sit 
alone, but, as a fact, she was never again chaperoned, except by 

For this, the first sitting, the obliging young lady did not 
have to assume one of the costumes run up by Red Lion Mary, 
but just sat in an easy attitude so that the painter could 
get the hang of her, keeping on her own everyday dress. It was 
a light^ print, nearly white with much washing. At the neck was 
a muslin collarette with a tiny bow of the same, tied with floating 
ends, which showed her long full throat, with almost an Adam's 
Apple. The white dress made her skin look brown and her hair 
nearly black. She looked like a schoolgirl, and probably felt 
like one. 

1 Boyce thus prettily indicated the social position of Miss Jane Burden to his 
proud French wife (a De Soubeyran), in whose eyes Morris himself was merely 
" a great, noisy, repugnant individual." 

2 Mrs. Hain Friswell. 

^ 3 Indeed, her height and that of Miss Siddall when, after their respective mar 
riages, they became fast friends and chose to dress more or less alike, set the measure 
for the second flight of Pre-Raphaelite ladies and models for they all had to 
work just as if they weren't married. Mrs. Rossetti was sitting to her husband 
on the day she died. Mrs. Morris, who thoroughly disliked medievalism in dress 
and furniture, although she consented to embroider birds and beasts in crewels, 
later, when they were house-hunting, told a friend that she would " just as soon 
have a brand-new house if one could have been found.'* 



Some few days later, when Morris returned, Rossetti convened 
all the fellows to come and have a go at her. He had dressed her 
up as Queen Guenevere in one of the property dresses, a rich 
brocade gown patterned with a design of pomegranates set in 
diagonal chequers. The black sleeves of velvet ended in up 
turned cuffs, the bodice, .tight-fitting, was buttoned down to the 
navel, then broke into heavy hampering folds about the feet. 
She was standing beside a tumbled bed, with a little dog lying 
among the folds of the sheet, close by the chest that served this 
Queen as a dressing-table, with a bit of white napery over it and 
a mirror propped up : a plate of apples and a book of Hours. 
He had invented a good way for her to wear her hands : languidly 
making the two ends of a girdle approach, so as to clasp it. 

There were four of them in the room with their easels drawn 
up close below the estrade : Rossetti, Prinsep, Hughes and 
Morris. She did not seem to mind how many people profited 
by the sight of her beauty. Then Gabriel went out for a 
moment to show Patmore (who had come down to see the work 
so as to write about it for the Press x ) the quickest way to the 
Union, and Morris, who had been scrawling something with a 
piece of white chalk at the back of his canvas, passed it up to the 
model when she asked nicely if she might see what they had been 
making of her. (While Gabriel was in the room she had not 

" / cannot faint you but I love you ! " was what Morris had 
written. She read, and quietly handed the canvas back with the 
others and he dusted it all off. 


Business superseded the Dream for a time at least. Things 
were going ill for them, in both hemispheres. There was a panic 
on the American money market so that, instead of the^ four 
sources of returns which the interchange on the Exhibitions 
between New York and Philadelphia would have yielded, the 
promoters of the stunt would have to fall back on one alone. 
Money, at the time of writing, was not to be had ; Ruxton could 

1 Sweet, bright and pure as a cloud at sunrise, so brilliant as to make the walls 
look like the margin of an illustrated manuscript." Saturday Review, December 26th, 


hardly get a sovereign changed. They did not hear this until 
the Exhibition had been open for a fortnight. 

And here in Oxford they were " particularly in a muddle." 

The members of the Committee were beginning to think that 
they had been rather rushed into the scheme by Woodward of 
the angel face. He had let them begin without obtaining 
sanction. Charles Bowen, the treasurer, admitted irregularity, 
but spoke so well for his friends that they were only admonished 
and bidden to use despatch. 

The roof across which Morris had been straddling daily for 
months, spilling paint-pots on defenceless heads, did get itself 
done by the end of November. First to begin, first to finish : he 
did nothing by halves in any walk of life or art, letting a thing 
slide with the same energy with which he had taken it up. 1 
Such a subservience as his to Rossetti never was out of the Morte 
Arthur the surprising services, the impossible mediaeval 
renunciations he made and performed in full consciousness of 
where they might lead him, submitting his very life and career 
to the arbitrament of " that hard intellectual force against 
which few were able to make a stand." To expostulations on 
this head he had only one short, sharp, schoolboy answer : 
" Yes, I have got beyond that. I want to imitate Gabriel as 
much as I can." 

He was not one of those whom women love. Like the paladins 
of whom he wrote his own Sir Peter Harpdon, simple, clumsy, 
forthcoming and downright, he did not- interest the opposite 
sex. Pure, as The Heir* or modest as poor Palomydes, resigned 
never to feel - 

. . . her warm arms round his neck 
The hot love tears burn deep like spots of lead. 

Ever this good knight's complex was the sense of inferiority, 
the conviction of his unsuccess with women 3 and corresponding 
failure in Art. Sex-mute but not sex-blind, with an insight that 

* They got to call him at Oxford " Mad Morris." " He used to put his head 
against a wall and bang it for fun," said the great Pauline (Dr. Walker of St. Paul's 
School) to me. 

2 When Sir Guj de Morville proposes to Amabel in the back drawing-room 
at her father's house, there is not such a thing as a closed door. Nay, there is 
not a lover's kiss in the whole book ! 

s See title of his subject for the wall painting, How Sir Palomydes loved La Belle 
Iseult with exceeding great love out of measure and she loved not him again tut rather 
ozr Tristram. 


Stendhal might have envied, a more than hint of the doom of 
every one of us helpless creatures walking in " this half-sleep, 
half-strife, that men call living/' he knew, like little Swinburne, 
all the peripatetics of the passion he was unable to inspire. 
With his uncanny insight, not with his mortal eyes, he now 
came to visualise the plight of another Pilgrim of Love whom 
really he did not much like, in the vulgar health-resort which 
had been chosen for her, surrounded by paralytics zndfaussts 
malades in bath-chairs, sipping the sour salt waters at the spring 
or moving slowly among engineered walks of asphalt ; like the 
others she would be taking her cure but not submitting to it ; 
restless, yearning, conscious of change and disturbance in the very 
centres of her life : 

I cannot stay here all alone 

Or meet their happy faces here. 

A little while and I am gone. . . . 

He " saw " The Sid, in a place he did not know, which had never 
been described to him, in her chosen dell with the old trees whose 
roots were " fleet," but saved, there under the lea of the cliff, 
from being uprooted and thrown down, as she too was protected 
from the gale, lying amid the long grass, kissing it or passing it 
through her teeth to make a thin, sharp noise. Or on the floor of 
the wood, as of a Moorish palace, with its arabesque of newly- 
dropped catkins, coiling in crescent shapes, and the dead leaves 
lying about like the bellies of speckled toads ! She might have 
her knees drawn up in Rossetti's favourite attitude of hers, that 
spring at Scalands four years ago. Morris set her in Joyous Gard 
in the midst of his favourite orchards down by the sea the red 
of apples and the blue of waves languishing and singing in the 
form of an incantation 

Gold Wings across the sea, 
Gold light from tree to tree, 
Gold hair beside my knee, 
I pray thee come to me, 
Gold Wings ! 

Gold Wings, the short night slips. 
I pray thee, kiss my lips, 
Gold Wings across the sea. 

Gold Wings across the sea, 
Moonlight from tree to tree, 
O sweet knight, come to me. 

Are not my blue eyes sweet ? 
Is it not time to meet 
Gold wings across the sea ? 1 

Blue eyes, yes, but dark is the fashion now and poor Jehane du 
Castel-Beau must face it. She could not* The call becomes 
more imperative 

Summer cometh to an end 
Undern cometh after noon, 
Golden Wings will be here soon. 
What if I some token send ? 

She sent it, a doctor's letter ; she had got ill. 
1 Defence of Guenevere, W. Morris. 




" Ilk 'TT07EMBER 14^, 1857," Rossetti unfortunately 
I ^^ / called away through Miss SiddaVs illness at Mat- 
I ^L/ lock. 

^ ^ This entry in the diary of Cormell Price is 

corroborated by an awe-stricken letter, written about this date, 
by Jones' sweetheart to a girl friend in Birmingham. " Miss 
Siddal dreadfully ill again." 

Rossetti went to her at once and did not return. 1 

Just then a letter came to William from America slinging 
another stone at the poor defenceless creature, fit to crush her 
vanity if she had any. Stillman wrote : " We are a sensitive 
people on some points," and, while admitting that the P.R.B. 
had " saved the Exhibition as far as oils were concerned," he 
suggests that the secretary for England should have realised that 
" the eccentricities of the Pre-Raphaelite School were new to 
us " and have left out of his selection, among others, Clerk 
Saunders and <The London Magdalen* " which have their values 
to the initiated, but to us, generally, are childish and trifling." 

Gabriel backed up " my pupil " to Norton. " All I can say is, 
if they don't like Clerk Saunders, they're wrong." By this time 
she was too seriously ill to be worried by strictures on her art. 

Who had told her about Gabriel's new model? Probably 
Gabriel himself. 

She knew the usual run of Oxford belles, the Miss^ Prices, the 
Miss Puseys, Faulkner's sisters and Miss Sarah Angelina Acknd, 
all dressed by Miss Boxall. As for Miss Herbert" My Lady 
Audley," everyone knew, would not look at a mere artist : she 
liked lords. And once, in the earlier days at Fortess Terrace, 
Lizzy had acquired a new garment as the price of her tolerance 
of Gabriel's inaccessible stage love. 3 

1 He sent a message to Allingham, "Terribly ill, but better now" that I am 

2 Her version of Found. 

3 " Gabriel has bought The Sid a superb Indian opera cloak, costing three 
guineas, and they are for The Princess's, to sport her and it next Saturday." Diary 
of F. M. B. 


Gabriel had left Oxford in a hurry and the linchpin fell out of 
the axle of the Union paintings. After March of this year not a 
brush was laid to the walls by anyone of the original lot, though 
notices of the work's progress appeared in papers from time to 
time. For the next two years, indeed, the committee was 
negotiating with Mr. Rossetti, away, nurse-tending. Steady 
old Top, left behind in Oxford, could be approached and called 
upon to render some kind of report, 1 but very soon there was 
nothing to report on. Scott went down to Oxford, borrowed a 
ladder and peered about. Only the head of Tristram peeped 
over the chevaux de frise of sunflowers in Morris 5 attempt to 
render the subject of his own particular complex ; 2 the gorgeous 
purples and blues of Jones glimmered on faintly, while Rossetti's 
" Launcelot and the Queen " had utterly disappeared, so that 
no one could say which of the painter's loves Guenevere was 
meant to resemble. 3 

" The greatest fiasco ever made by a parcel of men of genius," 
Scott said. For a long time afterwards, in Academic circles, the 
phrase " I have come to my Oxford Union " signified down-and- 
outness in money and credit. The boyish failure of The Germ 
seventeen years ago was transcended by grown men. For the 
second time the Round Table was dissolved, and this time sister 
Christina refrained from making sonnets on the subject. They 
had behaved too badly. Ruskin made it an excuse for seeing 
less of his friend. People knew why. He did protest too much 
to William : " But I have a sincere regard for you and your 
brother and sister just as much as ever and I am heartily 
sorry to see so little of you." The sense of change was over 
them all and the " sick, sure knowledge that things would never 
be the same." But at Christmas they did rouse themselves and 
give a party their usual party rather like one of the Mad 

1 He thought there was cc some good " in the designs of Pollen and Stanhope 
if they had been finished, and he protested against the proposal to cover the 
whole thing with a coat of whitewash, though he had not objected to that as far 
as his own painting " ludicrous in some ways " was concerned. He did the 
roof over again for them. 

2 Sir Galahad receiving the San Grail. " Unfinished," records William 

3 Certainly not Miss Herbert who, in the end, was put out of the Triptych 
in favour of Miss Burden. 


Hatter's " Beer and squalor at all hours and a Stunner or two 
to sing." 

The Stunners convened, whoever they were, sang. There 
was plenty of beer for all and the other thing, but the merri 
ment did not ring true. Gabriel, the recognised cynosure, was 
" going to hook it to-morrow," presumably to MatlocL Brown 
was, as usual, gloomy, and more so because his Emma was ill, and 
Jones because, though his sweetheart was all right, he was too 
poor to marry her and too ill, so that Mrs. Prinsep " Aunt 
Sara " called on Georgy at her mother's home and asked if she 
might carry her sweetheart off to Holland House, where he stopped, 
off and on, for nearly a year. Morris, mostly at Oxford in the 
society of his old schoolfellows " Crom " Price and Charley 
Faulkner, regained some of his old casualness, though his engage 
ment to Miss Burden languished, off and on, for nearly a year. 
But he put his poems together for publication and his Janey sat 
to his friend for several heads to illustrate the volume. But it 
was never illustrated. 


And, now that it was all over, their " twitterings at dawn " 
were being collected. Back numbers of The Germ were rare 
and already sought after. Dixon, the favoured cork-cutter, 
got one from William Allingham as a New Year's gift. Rossetti, 
who was counted the leader of " the three lettered race," skilfully 
maintained his legend, refusing absolutely to exhibit in public, 
so that on his account, little, short-lived, private exhibitions had 
to be set up, as nearly as possible fulfilling the old P.R.B. ideal 
of a picture gallery a room " hung with pictures, decked with 
flowers, 1 enlivened with music," to which the critics 2 had to go 
and grumble and vent their spleen on the smaller fry. Madox 
Brown, who did all the work and got all the kicks, had started in 
Russell Place, Bloomsbury, what people styled and still style, the 

1 Another piece of " Pre-Raphaelite eccentricity." 

2 " The Brotherhood has taught us at least to be exact, that everything is still 
unpainted and that there is no finality in art." The same critic is pleased to 
observe in the " thoughtful " pictures of Mr. Rossetti (other artists have suffered 
from their pictures being " sicklied over with the pale cast of thought ") that their 
eccentricities, errors and wilful aberrations were fast modifying and softening. 
(See Millais 7 , " Hunt too much tamed ! ") But the critic who saw so far into the 
tortuous Pre-Raphaelite heart, ascribed to the brush of Rossetti poor Brown s 
masterpiece, The Last of England. 


Pre-Raphaelite Exhibition. And then there was the Hogarth 
Club, 1 " that afflictive phenomenon," as Carlyle called it, which 
met only once, but to which Bocca Baciata^ counted, so far, the 
master's finest realistic work, was then drawing crowds. The 
whole thing, otherwise, was regarded as ridiculous. 

Of Ruskin, the arch-critic, the heart was woe and the temper 
caustic. 2 He was really upset about Lizzy he could not bear 
to see the portrait of her rival queening it there ! 

1 " Club not small enough to be friendly and not large enough to be Important, 
a room to which nobody sends things and Friday night meetings to which nobody 
cares to go. Funerals are performed in the shop below through which one passes." 
The club, Seventeen Piccadilly and, later, Six Waterloo Place, started in 1856. 
After holding one Exhibition it was dissolved in 1861 and became the Burlington 
Fine Arts Club. Exhibitors Boyce, Hughes, Alfred Hunt, Holman Hunt, Burne- 
Jones, Leighton, Morris, Prinsep, Watts, Windus, Stanhope, Woolner, Woodward, 
Stephens, Wallis, Mulready, Brown, Inchbold, G. E. Street, Dyce, Cox and Edward 
Lear. Millais could not join it because he was unable to be in the same club with 

2 He wrote to Alfred Hunt that he had no patience with these Pre-Raphaelite 
absurdities and that the thing would not answer unless the P.R.B. sent their best 
work instead of the sweepings of their studios. 




" Ik /f ISS SIDDALL continues dreadfully out of health/' 
% / I Sa 7 s Oxford, through the mouths of Price and Birk- 
^y I beck Hill. And, writes Brown in his diary, " Gabriel 

-L. V A. so unhappy again." " Frightfully fagged and weak 
and his face-ache so bad as to be almost an illness/' Allingham 
tells the Brownings in his news-letter to them away in Florence, 
Ruskin details the symptoms to Professor Norton in America : 
" Gabriel glooms much and is restless and dulls 1 himself, wants 
and wants and I can't amuse him." 

Gabriel was vacillating between London, Matlock and Oxford, 
visiting American fortune-tellers in Bond Street and generally 
encouraging his natal Dante complex, talking in numbers and 
the numbers generally nines. Lizzy was working it from 
Matlock. 2 Nine was molto amico to her. Yes, Dante was nearly 
nine years old when he first saw Beatrice : she was about the same 
age. An interval of nine years elapsed between this meeting and 
her denial of his salutation, at the ninth hour of the ninth day. 
It was nearly nine years since Gabriel had engaged himself to 
Lizzy. La gloriosa donna ddla mia mente died on the ninth day 
of June. Lizzy had now nothing of Beatrice but her paleness. 
She was old too, by women's calendar. 

Dante, for some reason or other, consonant with his devotion 
to Beatrice, feigned a passion for another donna gentile, bdla, 
giovanna e savia 3 the last word would never do for Fanny, the 

1 Anticipatory of the final difficulties, the nightmare of Watts and Hall Caine. 
Ruskin seems to be hinting at the sort of palliative for neuralgia with which Lizzy 
brought her Gabriel acquainted. 

2 " Superstition and some pressure from her light and imperceptible." Letters 
of Birkbcck Hill. 

3 " No claim of breeding or education or intellect could be made," says William 
Rossetti, " by Mrs. Hughes." During a discussion on " the burning mountain," 
as she called Vesuvius, at "Mr. Rizzetty's" she suggested that they ought to put it 
out by digging at the root. " They have tried," said William, obliged to be civil 
to her, by the tenure of his brotherhood. 

, 227 

blacksmith's daughter of Essex, out of whose mouth with its 
row of pearly teeth issued the broadest Cockney. Well, well, 
the lilies and languors of virtue have always flourished near the 
roses and raptures of vice, and in the parterre of Red Lion Square 
florets meet for the hair of Jones' Blessed Damozel stood stately, 
along with ranker, less ethereal blooms. 

One day, just after Gabriel had returned from visiting the 
pale invalid at Matlock and there was a chance of finding him at 
Number Seventeen, where he was known to paint with Jones 
every now and then, Brown, who wanted to ask him something 
about the Working Men's College, called there and found him 
and Jones with Fanny. 

He entered it in his diary, for, at sight of the " beautiful 
blonde woman " against a background of marigolds which her 
colouring could well stand up to, he felt that strange aura of 
misfortune which, although he had met Fanny before, had never 
visited him so strongly as to-day. The picture was commissioned 
by Boyce and to be called Bocca Baciata." 1 

" A most beautiful head, such a superb thing, so awfully 
lovely ! . . ." All these superlatives earned by one woman's 
face ! Arthur Hughes, seeing the picture, wrote off to Ailing- 
ham to come over quick and see it, for he fully expected that 
Boyce would have " kissed the dear thing's lips away " before 
the other could get across the Irish Channel. 

Those lips, and the rest, were now for Gabriel only. At least 
she was faithful. Scott about this time wrote off, to Howell : 
" A woman of these parts has got Gabriel and will keep him till 
his death." Naturally Scott hated Fanny, as he hated all 
Gabriel's intimates, and she disliked him, the dark hairy man from 
the North who suddenly went bald. Her criticisms would burst 
out as the door closed behind him : " Oh my, Mr. Scott ! 'E 
3 as changed ! 'E ain't got a hyebrow or a hyelash not an 'air 
on 'is 'ead ! " 

They laughed at her and she pouted beautifully ; that was the 
worst or the best of the witch; "Well, I know I don't say 
hit right." J 

1 " Bocca Baciata " (The Kissed Mouth), a phrase from the Decameron. Exhibited 
at the Hogarth in 1860. Bo7ce never parted with it. It hung on the left-hand 
side of the mantelpiece at Glebe House. I often asked who the fair girl with the 
brown-red hair set in a cluster of marigolds was and was answered with a certain 
reserve. For Hunt, who like Gabriel, had known her of old, Fanny was just " the 
large-throated, disagreeable woman Gabriel painted so much." 



Brown's wife was ailing, his child dying, he was desperately 
poor but he was still thinking of other people. The Sid must 
come back to cope with Fanny. Morris' approaching marriage 
with Miss Burden was announced, but that of Georgy to Jones 
still hung fire. They had been engaged for nearly three years, 
but Jones was patient. " Domesticity is nice," he admitted, 
but, in his opinion, a man who had any sort of special work to do 
in the world was better without a mate. 1 He still wanted to copy 
Gabriel in everything, even in deferred happiness. The 
Macdonalds had moved to Manchester, but Brown, the kind 
busy-body, persuaded the young girl's parents to lend her to them 
in London for an indefinite period. There was a revival of the 
Thelema scheme and Georgy again looked^ over houses. But 
Morris declared that he and Janey meant to have a house all to 
themselves and began treating for land to build it on out Green 
wich way. Morris loved a flat country and its quiet, unassuming 
sadness. Rossetti was to help to design furniture for him, 
painting a press 2 with Youths and Loves, and a picture on one of 
the doors of the Red House. Already in Red Lion Square two 
girls were stitching away (one of them their best Stunner 3 who 
had just got off with her life) at some tapestry Morris had 
designed himself, " queer birds and trees on a greenish-purply 
ground." So Allingham told Browning in his news-letter. 

" Trees, Press and Tapistry greatly conceived indeed ! " so 
Browning wrote back. And later, on the receipt of The Defence 
of Guenevere" Morris' admirable poems the only new poems, 
to my mind, since there's no telling when." ? 

But the volume fell stillborn from the press : the Laureate s 
version of the story (with one good line in it) overshadowed that 
of Morris, as a dashing dahlia a low-lying pot-herb. Moms 

1 So his nephew wrote much later. 

" White hands cling to the bridle rein, 
Red lips tarnish the scabbarded steel. 
He travels fastest who travels alone." 

? A S^^a^ntk on a gold ground betwixt the sun and moon. Said 
Birkbeck Hill, " What could one put in such a press I " . 

3 Madeline Smith, living in a London boarding-house very miseraby since he 
acquittal, for her mother had treated her with great unkmdness, not aUowin ; her 
so much as to come into the drawing-room when callers were there. She married 
one of Morris' men. 


luckily had the bank balance Allingham spoke of; and the 
" Towers of Topsy " soon rose, not at Greenwich but in the 
Valley of the Darenth, and Morris and Miss Burden were 
married x by Canon Dixon that April in the little old church of 
St. Michael's at Oxford. Faulkner was best man Jones was 
there but not Rossetti. Then a six weeks' tour in Belgium, Paris 
and the Rhine. The house was not ready for them, so when they 
came back, they took furnished rooms in Great Ormond Street. 
It was not all Gabriel's fault, for he had set to work on his doors 
and finished them in a week for Janey, it seems, he could spur 
himself. And Georgy Macdonald went there to call upon the 
bride whom she had not yet seen. " Never shall I forget it ! " 
She was smitten with an admiration that was only surpassed by 
that which afterwards possessed her for Lizzy. 


Rossetti never wrote to him now; but as autumn slid into 
winter, Allingham found himself on the old road to Blackfriars 
and shaking hands with his dear Gabriel " as if nothing were " 
Gabriel's way when he was in fault and spending three delightful 
hours with him in the studio, smoking away as of old. William 
and Arthur Hughes were there too, as it were, playing hide-and- 
seek among the canvases, for Rossetti had begun the big compart 
ment of the triptych depicting the Infant Saviour on the knees 
of the Madonna for which Miss Herbert had given one sitting 2 
being adored by Shepherds and a King. Most of the pictures 
were religious, with a dash of Socialism, 3 perhaps attributable to 
the idiosyncrasies of Rossetti's chief buyers, Colonel Gillum 
(introduced by Browning), who ran a Boys' Home, and Mr. 
Flint, a Nonconformist penetrated with the teachings of Canon 
Kingsley, of whose envisagement of artists and their uses in the 
world, all who attended his lectures were aware. 4 

1 A Mrs. Ham Friswell says " the man was a heathen " ; married in his own 
drawing-room and " by a ceremony of a curious character " which he afterwards 
had painted on a wall. 

2 It is Mrs. Morris now. 

3 " My dear Sir ... could you introduce both Carlyle and Kingsley, and change 
one of the four fashionable young ladies into a quiet, earnest, Wy-looking one, with 
a book or two and tracts ? I want this put in, for I am much interested in this ' 
work myself, and know those who are." Plint to Rossetti. 

4 " Aristocracies of mere birth decay and give place to aristocracies of mere 
wealth and then again to aristocracies of genius, which are really aristocracies of the 


From a photograph 

There was a Christ head done from Jones, commissioned by a 
dealer who was beginning to see that there was money in Gabriel, 
and, what Allingham liked much better, the Mary in the House of 
John, an illustration, cynical in all seriousness, of the cruelty and 
futility of the Crucifixion. He had painted the Virgin and 
St. Anne, just two bereaved old women in their house on the 
wall of Jerusalem, looking out of the window, Mary parting with 
one hand the blue curtain so as to see in the fading light the 
outline of the Hill where, many years ago, her life and her hope 
went down, with the headstrong gesture of her Son. 

Gabriel had tidied up his room or someone had done it for 
him. His pictures were hung on nails instead of forming an 
indistinguishable part of the sagging stack of canvases and 
portfolios under the window-ledge. His personal appearance 
was neater, though, with a bad figure, he could never have 
looked as smart as William, always considered " a marvellous 

" Dear old buffers, both ! " Hughes and Allingham agreed as 
they walked away William " pursuing his serene and gracious 
way as usual," Gabriel settling down and the triptych " awfully 
jolly!" So Hughes. 

To the Brownings, always eager for news of this family, 
Allingham wrote : " The Rossettis I saw, all well and going on 
as usual." 

He knew they were not going on as usual and Gabriel most 
certainly not well and much altered. 


In December, Hunt had returned from the East illish but 
famous. Tales of his artistic exploits and dangers run made their 
way home and Annie Miller, " sitting " all over the place now, 
smiled her smug smile. Hunt had been living through the 
winter on the shores of the Dead Sea, all alone, with an Arab 
and a goat. He was the only Christian to penetrate into the 
Mosque of Omar. He had nearly been assassinated. He had 
only just missed being elected a member of the Royal Academy x 

merest scribblers and sprouters." Charles Kingsley at Crewe in a lecture in 1871. 
But he wrote of " mountains, silver veined with rills, cataracts of white cotton 
thread zigzagging down every rock-face." His bark was worse than his scribble, 

1 He had " tied " in voting with a great friend of his, but no relation, another 
Pre-Raphaelite artist of the same surname Alfred Hunt. Neither was then 
elected or even came near it again. 


and he was going to snub them properly. His picture was ready 
and he intended to show it all by himself. He took Hook's house 
on Campden Hill, with a high tower from which he could paint 
sunsets, and was settling up with Annie. He did not intend to 
marry her now. 

" You remember Miss Miller, doubtless ? She has been sitting 
again to Rossetti and myself." So wrote Boyce to Allingham. 
She had " gone professional " as a result of Rossetti' s fulsome 
encouragement, abandoning her home at Chelsea and the lectures 
that Hunt was paying for emancipating herself thoroughly. 
She now lived in Augusta Place, near Clapham Road. Hunt 
wrestled with her for the soul that professional modelhood might 
endanger but, according to all accounts, her " determination to 
go on sitting was entirely her own " and could not be shaken. 
Hunt was upset : he had not yet met the beautiful woman who 
made Miss Miller's defalcation a matter of no moment to him. 

William Rossetti, the best brother a man ever had, admits 
that bis was " properly, but not deeply, censurable in this 
matter." 1 


By the end of next year Brown was so hard up that when little 
Arthur 2 died after three days' illness he had to borrow the money 
to bury him. Woolner, who had been lucky enough to secure a 
Llandaff commission too, but was not so favoured in the matter 
of advances as Rossetti, declared himself to be earning exactly 
fourpence a day. Jones, prudent, dared not marry with the 
contingency of a family to keep. 

And " A Happy Christmas to you all ! " was Gabriel's pious 
wish from Paris at that date. For the "Head of the Pre- 
Raphaelite School in England " had had to cross the water to 
escape the complimentary duns of the season. 

There was no particular reason for him to be hard up. Though 
Art does not, so to speak, pay, his did pretty well. He had at 
least four steady buyers. Colonel Gillum who was paying him a 

1 Grant Allen saw " the making of a novel in the whole affair/' but he never wrote 
it. Annie Miller is the one Pre-Raphaelite heroine who has, perhaps out of con 
sideration for these two great men, been " kept dark," and references to her in 
P.R.B. memoirs are scanty, though in the 'sixties and 'seventies her name was on 
every tongue. 

2 Lizzy always had that baby on her conscience. Taken up and carried out at 
night to Hampstead and kid on the sofa while its mother ministered to her in her 
extremity, it had not had a chance. 


regular sum per quarter as advance on work in hand Messrs. 
Leatheart of Newcastle and Rae of Birkenhead and the Misses 
Bell and Heaton. Miss Baring had just commissioned The 
Magdalen at the Door of Simon the Pharisee * in pen-and-ink, for 
fifty pounds. Lady Trevelyan of Wallington was coming 
forward for Mary in the House of John, when it should be finished. 
Flint had given him forty-two pounds for the pen-and-ink 
drawing of Hamlet and Ophelia, for which Howell had sat, and 
thirty-one for a little water-colour of Guenevere. Of this, in 
oils, the price would have been three hundred and sixty-seven 
pounds. For a water-colour portrait of Miss Macdonald as My 
Lady Greensleeves (as they sometimes called Jones' Stunner) he 
got a hundred and five pounds. And Mr. Leatheart, at Scott's 
suggestion, had re-commissioned the illusive and accursed Found 
for three hundred and sixty-seven pounds. 2 

But the sheet-anchor of his monetary position was now the 
triptych which, so his brother asserted, " might be going " to 
bring him in four hundred pounds. 3 He would keep fiddling 
with sections of it, hesitating to begin the centre compartment, 
which, singly, was to bring two hundred pounds, continually 
bothering Seddon for advances, " feeling sure that it would not 
be finished for some time to come. . . ." 

Taking it all round, he was in a better position to marry now 
than he was ever likely to be again. The bar to their union on 
Lizzy's side had gone in the person of the old man, her father. 4 
Before his death he had come down a little. He admired 
Rossetti's poetry, of which Liz had sent him specimens now and 
then, and he used to read it aloud o' nights to the family circle, 
sandwiched in between large tracts of Dickens. But he would 
never have consented to a Sudel or Sidel of Hope marrying a man 
who was not even an Esquire (as he was, if we all got our rights), 
one of the cheap-boozing, hard-drinking, out-at-elbow, knocker- 
wrenching crew, with not so much as a spare shirt to their backs 

1 Sala, in Brompton Square, had a photograph, signed. Rossetti had, says 
G. $., two models for it, one an actress and the rest was done from a typically 
Pre-Raphaelite model (whatever that might mean to Sala ?). 

2 It had at first seemed necessary that Rossetti should go to Newcastle to secure 
this splendid commission, but, as Mr. Leatheart was good enough to settle for the 
sum, he disappointed Mr, and Mrs. Scott and from William, who had been going to 
pay his fare, borrowed a " few pounds for home use." 

3 " He didn't take less and possibly got more," says William. 

4 There is no photograph extant of Mrs. Siddall. One, ^as a young girl, the 
husband carried about with him and when lie died it was put in his coffin. 


or a whole pair of shoes between them, so he understood. A 
business man" (thus he set himself down) in those days regarded 
an artist much as a Don an undergraduate. t 

As a social gloss to the unconscionable protraction of the 
engagement Lizzy had given countenance to the idea of her 
father's unwillingness to part with her so disadvant age ously 
But that tale would not work now: Charles Crookes Siddall 
had died of gastritis, at the age of fifty-nine m July, and was 
buried in Vicforia Old Cemetery at Hackney. Gabriel Rossetti 
had nominally been engaged to his daughter for the last nine 


The Cabbalistic number again ! 


Gabriel began to astound his circle by talking of settling 
down, so seriously that brother William, flustered out of his 
usual discretion, felt the need of a confidant and bethought 
him of Scott, the friend of his boyhood, witness of perhaps his 
one and only recorded escapade and that was political ! 

He got hold of Scott and asked him if he was aware that 
Gabriel was intending to take this important step pretty soon ? 
No, it was news to Scott, always professing himself to be surprised 
at nothing. From the date of that dark evening in The Hermi 
tage, when Gabriel, not trusting his old friend, had neglected 
to introduce his girl to him, there dated, in Scott's mind, 
Gabriel's revision of any project of marriage. Oh, he was 
probably fond of her still, but she had been his Stunner too long : 
there were others : it was Annie and Fanny and God knows 'who 

1 Miss Ethel New-come threw over her cousin Clive for the Marquis of Farintosh, 
not only because she was worldly but because she knew that, after marriage, her 
society must inevitably consist of Fred Bayham and his like, while Clive fell back 
on the pretty daughter of his landlady. Nor were Mr. Rossetti's own friends 
entirely free from these notions, while discriminating between the general and 
the particular. Birkbeck Hill liked to go about with the artists, but this is how 
he wrote to his sweetheart about artistic society : " Faulkner, Morris poet and 
artist and myself rowed three or four miles down the river to play skittles in a low 
tavern, five games, and drank two quarts of cider on Saturday afternoon, when all 
the low people were about. Think of that ! " 

2 Once, when the two boys were staying with the Scotts, they attended 
a Methodist Revival Meeting on the Town Moor- Brother Speedman eloquently 
speaking. Young William exhibited the revolutionary bias he never abandoned 
(even when he became a Civil servant), interrupted the meeting and was repri 


else ? It had been Barbara once, with the " tin " and the hair. 
Gabriel seemed always to go mad over women's hair and 

Mr. Scott sat with William, while Gabriel was away at Matlock, 
William delicately mending the fire when it didn't need it, in a 
studio filled with what Scott was pleased to call examples of his 
brother's " late development." He got William to agree with 
him that Gabriel had, in process of years, become " more sus 
ceptible to influences which mig^it prevent " him settling down 
into an even way of life. Yet, he pleaded for his brother. 
Gabriel neither smoked, betted, gambled nor drank. And, as 
for his unpunctuality, the irregular hours he kept, hardly ever 
going to bed until three or four in the morning, the frowst of 
his " digs " never a window open, all the latches stuck, the 
stream of boon companions lurching in at any minute, for he 
was a man much in request, every hour bespoke Miss Siddall 
was an artist herself and used to Gabriel's ways ! so Scott, 
sharply. He knew all about that, their keeping house to 
gether every now and then in Chatham Place so that she never 
until lately had been able to let her family know exactly where 
she was to be looked for or written to at any given moment. 




SO said they and so thought they, and meanwhile she 
would be sitting, poor Burd Alane, in the window of 
her sitting-room on the ground floor of the Hastings 
lodging, in her usual, forlorn, nervous attitude, one 
hand clasping the elbow of the other arm, of which the wide 
upper sleeve of striped brown and black silk disclosed the black 
velvet under-sleeve, tight to the wrist. The gesture seemed 
somehow to hold her together, in a world that was slipping away. 
By herself nearly all day, except for the kind landlady running 
in every now and then to have a look at her lodger and a " How 
are you to-day, Miss F " and then the sad, stiff, seaside door 
closed carefully against the wind, ballooning under the 
carpet. . . . 

Number Twelve Beach Houses a stone near the door said 
1700 was a very old structure indeed, modernised. A pagoda- 
like series of bow windows reaching to the very top had been 
thrown out ^ and stone steps eight led up to the front door. 
The low-ceiled rooms were papered with bunches of poppies 
and daisies, like a child's tossed bouquet, the window continually 
lashed with spray when the wind was at the back of the in 
coming tide, and always the smell of fish, trailed, gutted, packed 
and tossed into crates for London before her eyes. . . . 

She seemed to herself full as repulsive sick, sick continually, a 
thing of disgust deserving of avoidance by all. 

At last Mr. Chatfield had the sense to look up the address on 
the letters he occasionally took to the post, always the same 
except for one or two addressed to a Mrs. Wheeler at Barnsbury. 
Mrs. Chatfield knew that her boarder was supposed to be engaged 
to a Mr. Rossetti and she wrote Miss Siddal said she might 
to say that the lady desired to see him and bid him Good-bve 
before she died. * 

It was not the first time this had happened to Gabriel. He 


was hard at work by way of beginning the centre compartment 
of the triptych. . . . But Gold Hair had sent for Gold Wings, 
and he went ! 

She was not crying Wolf ! It was desperately true. He wrote 
to his mother on arrival " She is dying daily and more than once 
a day," lying prone after one of these gastric spasms as if she 
would never " lift that golden head again." Gabriel arranged to 
stay down to nurse her, as was proper. He refused Emma 
Brown's offer to come and perform this office, saying that he 
fancied Liz preferred being alone with him, and that' the sight 
was really far too painful for anybody else outside the family 
to bear. Then he settled down, as it were, to his pious task 
with a kind of exaltation, like Swinburne's lover tending his 
leprous mistress. 

Changed with disease, her body sweet, 
The body of love wherein she abode, 

but owned that it was almost too much for him, who had never 
offered or been called upon to nurse anyone before the squalor 
and intimate services of illness, the sounds convulsive hoquets, 
gurgles and reachings, heavings and contactings of the riven 
body of a love lying there and all conscious of its degradation. . . . 

I pray 7011, let me be at peace. 

Get hence, make room for me to die. 

Almost any woman, not only a princess, would say that. 
Of it all, Gabriel, a Latin, was able to give his mother details 
in language of an almost epic frankness. He had never known 
anything like it the obliteration of personal vanity in pam 
" that kind of pain which one can never remember at its full" 
It made him feel as if he himself were " living in a vault." He 
would rise from his chair at her bedside when she did get to 
sleep and pace backwards and forwards between their rooms, 
looking from the window on the front on fine days, past the Fish 
Market and the boats, to "where the sea ends, in a sad blueness 
beyond rhyme." And at night, from his own window at the 
back, he would watch the townspeople dancing by candle-light 
before the mouths of the Smugglers' Caves behind St. Clement s 
Church, where he must take her the moment she was able to get 
up, for she was at any rate to die a married woman, JSut she 


must not die. If lie were to lose her now he would go mad ; 
so lie told William, who had written nicely and of whose affection 
he owned never before to have stood in such need. He had been 
to a stationer's and ordered, to please her, notepaper stamped 
with her future initials (a gesture counted unlucky). And on 
Friday the 1 3th of April, he announced their marriage as likely 
to take place in a few days and he might be coming up for half a 
day to get some money he had left in a drawer at home. . . . 

" I have hardly deserved that Lizzy should still consent to it, 
but she has done so." l (Perhaps she had just been able to wag, 
in confirmation, that lovely head, supine on the pillow.) And 
he trusted that he might still have " time to prove his thankful 
ness to her " and they would go straight to Chatham Place. 
There would be no wedding trip he had too much work on 

But, by the ijih of the month, she was dreadfully ill again. 
Gabriel told them she had been as bad before in many respects 
but not in all respects at once, as now. The weather was against 
her : she was always affected by it. When it was fine she was 
able to take beef-tea and jelly without bringing them up again, 
but now she could not even keep a glass of water down and, if 
it could not be stopped, she would die of starvation and 

Mindful of his promise, on which she was now too weak to 
insist, he was endeavouring to secure a special licence, for even 
if she recovered sufficiently to go through the ceremony it would 
be bad for her to enter a cold church. But a special licence 
meant delay, so he trusted to God he might be able to use the 
ordinary one he had in his pocket, for, if he could not, " there 
would be so much to grieve over and ... to reproach myself 
with, that I do not know how it might end with me." 2 Threat 
ening suicide selfish even in his best moments ! 

His mother was evidently aware of these things with which 
he had to reproach himself and blamed, though she had not 
prevented them. Maybe, stern and undeceiving of self, a 
Roman matron if ever there was one, she was aware that she and 
Maria and Christina had cause for self-condemnation too. 

1 Family Letters, William Rossetti. 2 Hid. 



Allingham, in his usual news-letter, told the Brownings all the 
town news about the Lords and the Paper Duty, Home the 
Spiritualist, the London Riflemen how all public resorts were 
dotted with Hue, gre 7 and green uniforms and reviews of 
about twenty-five thousand of them in the Park And now 
to smaller matters. Gabriel Rossetti was married three weeks 
ago to Miss Siddal, whom you have heard of once a model 
with a talent for drawing and long very sickly, as she still is, I am 
sorry to say. They are supposed to be in Paris. . . . Rossetti's 
manner of working is not altered.' 5 

Trust a loving woman's will-power working to an end ! On 
the 22nd day of May Gabriel had written to his mother from 
Hastings to say that there had been an improvement, sudden, 
unaccountable ! She had got out of bed, dressed and come down 
stairs ^to the sitting-room ; and ate not much without having 
to bring it all up again as soon as she had swallowed it. Next 
day he had got Mr. Nightingale to marry them. 

Dante Gabriel Rossetti, Artist. Bachelor. Son of Gabriele 
Rossetti of Vasto, to Elizabeth Eleanor Siddall, 1 daughter of 
Charles Siddall, Optician, both of full age. Witnesses, Alfred 
and Jane Chatfield. Elizabeth Eleanor's signature, like a cock 
roach scrawling over the tiny oblong indicated for signature, 
suggests her weakness, while the second " 1 " in the letters of 
her name is hardly made out at all. But it served. She was 
married so, by the skin of her teeth. 

Love, like Greek fire over a cold altar, played about the heads 
of these persons, both of them making do with an old spent 
impetus, the one anxious to placate his God by offering amends 
for procrastination, the other in feverish haste to cheat Death, but 
drawing down, Heaven knows what form of vengeance for her 
withdrawal, in the past, from Nature's simple purposes until it was 
almost too late. A dreary couple : she, temporarily invigorated by 
the long-desired consummation, little more he, mildly pleased 
with pleasing her ! Everything was to be done as she wanted, 
and Paris was the place where she sometimes felt well. So Paris 
it was to be, and this very afternoon they would try to get to 

Gabriel wrote a few letters while Mrs. Chatfield prepared her 

1 Perhaps she wanted to be on the safe side. The wilful alteration he had made 
in her name would not, maybe, have stood in law. 


for the journey. To Brown lie said, " I can't really give you 
any good news of her health, but we must hope for the best." 
It was just possible they might get as far as Folkestone without a 
relapse. To William, business ; he sketched an announcement 
of the marriage, for The Times " If the governor's birthplace 
is wrong, please alter." And he begged William to see about 
letting the studio for a bit, as he was not likely to want to use it 
for some time to come except for a day or two now and then. 
What about some painter of his acquaintance who would not 
mind the owner dropping in for an hour or two now and again ? 
He had settled in his own mind that Chatham Place would not 
suit Lizzy, though she would be certain to clamour to go back 
there at once if she survived the honeymoon ! A locum tenens 
was the best way to stop her. 1 

They reached Boulogne that day with only the usual concomi 
tants she was used to being sick and put up with some friends 
of Mr. Ruskin's, the Maenzas, 2 in the Grande Rue, leading straight 
up from the Port to the real Boulogne, the walled and bastioned 
city at the top of the hill which she was never to climb. In 
the mornings they walked about the Port. Madame Maenza 
told her that Monsieur Ruskin used to go out, from here, mackerel 
fishing, off Hastings, at five o'clock in the morning, about the 
time Mrs. Rossetti was living in that town. In the afternoons 
they took proper little drives along the coast, to Wimille and St. 
Marquis, and along the St. Omer Road. There were not then 
any villas to break the grey, flat line of the sea-shore, from which 
England even on the very finest days never looked as nice as 
Boulogne from England. They were only French chateaus, like 
English country houses, and one of them was to let, with a garden 
from which Rossetti could get any amount of backgrounds. He 
proposed to get rid of Chatham Place in its favour. She did not 
care about it, and when she had recovered from the crossing and 

was safe in Paris, which agreed with her" as it always does " 

Gabriel waived the chateau " The Boulogne scheme is given 
up, I believe." 

1 William, on May 2 3 rd, thinks he can " comfortably " let it to Allingham, an 
old friend of Gabriel's, and writes to adumbrate the scheme. If AUingham 
cares to write he will find that he can comfortably " place the rooms at his dis 
posal. AUingham did not take them. The Rossettis themselves came there 
straight from Paris. 

2 Madame Maenza was the old lady in whom Ruskin long took an interest, so 
that Howell, his factotum, was several times sent to Boulogne to relieve her 


The Hotel Meurice was expensive, and after a week they moved 
to lodgings in the Rue de Rivoli the less favoured end where 
the landlady was an Englishwoman called Houston. They 
settled down and began some work, painting, sitting and reading 
aloud to each other. Rossetti had friends in Paris but made no 
effort to look them up. They were reading Boswell, and he 
painted Doctor Johnson and The Ladies of the Town sitting at the 
Cheshire Cheese, and How They Met Themselves, an illustration 
of the old German superstition of the Doppelgangcr, he and Lizzy 
meeting their doubles in an enchanted wood and, half swooning, 
brought suddenly face to face with their own painful dual 

She began a little water-colour called The Woeful Victory, 
for she had got Gabriel and all that it meant ! 


The meeting with the Joneses did not come off. They had 
been married on a Saturday in June and went to Chester on their 
way to join the Rossettis in Paris. But on Sunday morning 
Jones was speechless with a cold on his chest ; the journey to 
France had to be given up. His letters are coloured deep with 
disappointment. He sends his love " I wish it was such stuff 
as Indian carpets for her to walk on " to Lizzy, whom, in 
Chatham Place, he had never noticed. But now, he " hoped 
she'd stand him . . . he'd do anything to be agreeable and so 
would Georgy." He signs his name in a new way which he hopes 
Gabriel will notice his Aunt Keturah's married name hyphened 
with the other, which he was just beginning to use. A married 
artist must neglect no opportunity of fixing his name on people's 

The bottom was knocked out of Paris by the secession of the 
Burne- Joneses and Rossetti said it was time he went home and 
got to work on Found : " There is so much money in the picture 
if only I could get it finished ! " And Lizzy was anxious to see 
again the Hampstead doctor, Crellin, the only one who had ever 
done her any good. They were both tired of " dragging about," 
having become aware by now of the subtly fatiguing quality of 
the Paris air and their feet blistered by the stone pavements 
that seemed, in the heat, to rise up and hit you. Hunting about 
in the old quartiers, Gabriel had bought her some lovely necklaces 
and a couple of dogs one called Punch. (" What fun ! You'll 

R 241 

buy horses next ! " Jones chaffed.) But they had spent all their 
money ! Just as they left the platform of the Gare du Nord they 
got hold of an English paper and saw the account of the death 
of a friend bankrupt x and the dreadful position of his starving 
wife and children. Lizzy was wearing, to carry them, all the 
beautiful things Rossetti had bought her. God's Pre-Raphaelite 
children : they were both full of immediate, picturesque 
benevolence and, on arrival at Charing Cross, stopped their cab 
at a pawnbroker's where Lizzy lifted the necklaces straight off 
her neck for Gabriel to sell, and they took the proceeds to Mrs. 
B rough at her lodgings in the Borough before going on to 
Chatham Place. 


On their return the newly-married pair learned through 
Mrs. Letitia Scott, who had been to see her there that his 
sister and her sister-in-law had become an Associate of St. Mary 
Magdalene's Home at Highgate (for Fallen Women) and wore 
the habit. 2 There was no word of this from the family to 
Gabriel, no letter from any member of it, and for all the desolate 
bride could tell the wedding day might have been taken as one 
of mourning in Albany Street perhaps Maria went twice to 
church that day ? None of his mother's answers if there were 
any to Gabriel's letters from Hastings announcing his marriage 
are extant. Perhaps "Old Antique" did not answer them. 
More probably she wrote what was adequate, for she was a courtly 
sort of old woman. Lizzy had hoped to find a particular welcome 
for herself from Gabriel's mother on her arrival at Chatham 
Place as a bride. Gabriel knew better. Though his mother had 
shown sympathy, listening to his agonised accounts of what was 
happening at Hastings, it was only because she did not want 
him to go mad on account of the crime he had only just escaped 
committing. A soul, through his laches, dying impenitent, unas- 

1 Robert Brough, a Bohemian of the first water, was author of some strong anti 
social ballads. Rossetti was never tired of quoting one from his burlesque of Medea, 
about " Lord Tom-Noddy, the son of an earl," and petted accordingly : 
A full-blown colonel at twenty-one 
Is Lord FitzdottrelTs only son. 

Brough was bankrupt in 1858. There had been a Benefit for him at Drury Lane 
in July of this year, in which Miss Herbert had taken part. 

2 "A simple, elegant black gown with hanging sleeves and a muslin cap with a 
lace edging and veil, very becoming to her." So Mrs. Scott, who went to call and 
found her walking about the grounds with a bishop. 


From a photograph 

soilsied by any rites, for his sweetheart was, they had always 
known, deeply, subtly irreligious. " Old Antique " was thankful 
that in marrying, she had let him have a formal service of 
some sort. Kind-hearted Gabriel ! Too good for Lizzy, as 
every mother's son is too good for the girl he wants or feels he 
ought to marry. 

Nor are Miss Rossetti's impressions of her new relation any 
where adumbrated, either in letter, verse or speech. Christina 
was a great lady. William was equally punctilious in his estimate 
and his dealings with his plaguey sister-in-law. The pensive, 
polarised philosopher, full of fairly good intentions towards her, 
was disconcerted by the determined noli tangere of the mind 
which Lizzy practised with regard to him and nearly everybody. 
She had, he averred, a way of turning off the conversation, just 
when he fancied he was getting forrarder, casting what he called 
" a dry light on the subject," leaving it exactly as it was so far 
as her own point of view was concerned, giving " dusty answers," 
paying out mere lightsome chaff. . . . Flighty ! That was the 
word. One never knew where to have her. That this manoeuvre- 
ing for position was sub-intentional there is not the slightest 
doubt. The fay 'par excellence ! William's adjective for her 
explains, really, everything. 

But, honest, William did not dismiss her as a nobody. He 
knew better. The woman who could interest Swinburne could 
not have been a fool, since mere beauty had no lure for him. 

And Christina had not understood. It was too near : Lizzy's 
long agony was at once too personal and its early symptoms too 
puzzling and recondite. In the Home on the Hill she escaped 
them and could consider the sorrows and trials of yellow canaries, 
furry wombats and dormice. As far as human beings were con 
cerned she had more sympathy with the Marian Erles of this 
world than with prim and prudent maidens who insist on the 
ring, and being received into their lover's family before con 
senting to crown his flame. 

So, deliberately, it would seem, Lavinia, Maria and Christina 
chose to leave this soul duly to perish, because it would not accord 
itself in any way to their mould. None of the women of her 
husband's family were about when Lizzy broke up and,^except 
for her own sister, young and inevitably preoccupied with her 
own affairs, she lived and died, an exile of the heart. 




was the first blow dealt, the first hint of what 
was to come. The daughter of Heth, married into an 
alien tribe, fending for herself and reinforced by weak 
ness, created a legend wherewithal to arm herself 
against the slings and arrows of her new kin. Mrs. Scott, 
on a visit to town that summer while her husband was in Ayr 
shire, sunning himself in the rays of his Egeria's 1 calm and con 
sidered affection, wrote to tell him the London news and the 
names of the people who had come to dinner that night in 
Aubrey Road. There was, she said, Mrs. William Morris, tall 
and stately, " looking un-English,' 3 dining in her bonnet because 
she had to catch a train back home that night ; Mrs. Edward 
Jones, " a little thing " singing French songs after dinner " in a 
high, wild voice, quite novel and charming," while her young 
husband, " looking like a schoolboy " in spite of his yellow beard, 
turned over the leaves for her. But to Mrs. Scott's evident 
chagrin, the new Mrs. Rossetti " is invisible to everyone . . . 
has not yet been seen in the house of his mother." 

No, not ever or hardly ever. She had been a good girl, 
withholding herself, like any Victorian maiden to whom " the 
orange-blossom is the fox's brush of married life." 2 The fay 
had been at pains to constitute herself the respectable daughter 
and sister-in-law, accepting the usual obligations of convention 
ality and lip-service. . . . And all she got was a waste-paper 
basket 3 a year later ! 

And Chatham Place did not do. She got ill again and went 
back to the Hampstead cottage. Thence they could look over 

1 Miss Alice Boyd. 2 Plain or Ringlets, Cuthbert Bede. 

3 " Please thank Christina for her paper-box, which will come in very useful." 
D. G. R. to his mother, January 1861. 


houses there or at Highgate. She seemed able to exist on these 
heights only. Gabriel came to her every day, returning to his 
own rooms to sleep. 

She had not yet been introduced to Ned Jones' wife. The 
tale of her beauty, the bulletins from Matlock the year before 
had, for Georgy, made Gabriel's new wife into a legendary 
personage, a Melusine, a Tiphai'ne out of the old French 
legends that Ned and she read up for subjects ; her excitement 
was intense when came the day appointed for the meeting by the 
Wombats' Lair in the Zoo. The Browns were going too. And 
while Gabriel was rattling his stick between the bars, trying to 
poke up the owls into a vulgar fury, little Mrs. Jones gloated on 
the slender elegant figure of Mrs. Rossetti, the details of her 
bonnet not so ugly and pokesome as most of her dress made in 
the fashion, but with tiny differences that a woman would notice 
at once. For most men except Gabriel this Stunner had no 
particular sexual appeal ; but the girl who had, after her first 
interview with another Stunner, Jane Burden, gone home and 
literally dreamed of her in the night, prepared for Gabriel's 
by the fulsome praise of his disciples, her zeal sharpened by the 
delays and difficulties of meeting, found her " as beautiful as in 
imagination poor thing ! " 

The use of that tender, popular phrase of commiseration^ the 
hint of some unformulated ill that might lie in wait for sov'ran, 
yet vulnerable, beauty betrayed the thought that leaped to 
the little woman's mind as she followed the tall one upstairs into 
the bedroom with its latticed window and tiny panes that made 
it rather dark to see to do one's hair. Mrs. Rossetti could never 
have known that difficulty ; she just waved her hand at the bed, 
where Georgy was to lay her bonnet, and took hers off without 
looking into the glass. Ringlets had been lately exchanged by 
Fashion for bandeaux hair was, just now, often confined in 
gold silk nets but Lizzy wore neither. The resilient loops and 
bows which her bonnet had imprisoned leaped out unruffled 
and, without the aid of brush or comb, lay in ordered disorder on 
each side of her face, like the folded wings of the Cherubim singing 
in their quires, saluting each other in the morning, as in young 
Millais' design for a Gothic window which Ruskin had once 
shown her. 1 

1 At Glenfinlas he and Ruskin went " pitching into architecture " and made 
designs for church windows on grocers' paper from the village shop. Ruskin used 
this one of Millais' at his Edinburgh Lectures. 


And Georgy always declared that she then and there, once 
and for all, got a sense of the romance and tragedy that were 
mingled in the life-web of these two. For them already Love 
had folded his wings, ever so gently, decently and in order, with 
out vulgar fuss and flutter. Though their desperate quarrels had 
not begun, Love's amenity was for ever foregone between the 
man and the woman, who, as soon as they got downstairs again, 
allowed Gabriel to produce and show with pride, her sinister 
drawing, done in Paris, The Woeful Victory. 

The daughter of the Methodist Minister, whose foregathering 
in childhood had been confined to certain worthy and calculable 
types, whose reading had been carefully regulated she and her 
sisters were not allowed to read even Shakespeare had never 
seen anything like this wonderful creature, weary and wayward, 
with her slight artificiality of manner, her rather upsetting 
mixture of humour and tenderness, of melancholy alternating 
with excitement not to call it flightiness. Georgy Jones, like 
William Rossetti, felt some strain in association with one whose 
values were so utterly different. All the time she was conscious 
of variations in the soul's barometer of her companion, as a fly 
might sense a thunderstorm far away. Shrewdly she noticed 
that Mrs. Rossetti seemed to calm down when her husband sat 
beside her on the sofa and took her hand and called her 
" Guggums " and then, even the silly little hiss went out of 
her voice. 

Her complexion never altered a rose-leaf with the light 
shining through. Fays never did show when they were ill, 
neither did they really ever die, still they could not live just 
anywhere, but made conditions. . . . Perhaps this one had 
her Saturday nights when she chose to be invisible, like 
Melusine ? x . . . 

* Melusine, the famous ghost of the House of Lusignan, the daughter of a King 
condemned by a witch whom she had offended, on one day in seven to be a snake 
from the waist downwards, with a tail, grey and sky-blue mixed with white, until 
she should meet a man who would marry her on the condition that he never looked 
on her on a Saturday. Count Raymond of Lusignan broke his promise, peeped, 
and lost her for ever. He died a hermit on Monserrat and Melusine still haunts the 
castle when a Lusignan is about to die. And there was Dame Tiphaine, the 
fairy-wife of the Connetable Du Guesclin, bonne et sage and an expert astronomer. 



Rossetti was anxious to placate Christina in Lizzy's favour, so 
another day they all visited the Maze at Hampton Court, for him 
to get his illustration to Christina's Prince's Progress, but, when 
they got there, for some reason, he refused to go into the Maze 
at a U sa id he was afraid of getting lost ! and just took the 
plan from the Guide Book. 

And later, Miss Siddal condescended to go to see Georgy at her 
home and they started the illustrations for the book of Fairy 
Tales they were bringing out together Georgy had learned, at 
Mr. Brown's classes, to engrave on wood very nicely. Lizzy 
would bring her sewing and use Georgy's wonderful sewing- 
machine that Mr. Watts had given her as a wedding present : 
" A little thing that makes dresses and buys the stuff and almost 
pays for it " so Ned chaffed them, as he chaffed Georgy's sister 
Louie, 1 pretty, short-sighted and a tremendous flirt ; he swore 
he always could tell, even at a distance, if she was talking to a 
man or a woman, by the shape of her shoulders. Lizzy wanted 
Georgy to know her sister, so she and Georgy met Louie and went 
to see Lyddy in Barbara Street, a turning out of the Roman road 
opposite Pentonville Prison yard, where you could see the 
prisoners exercising and other excursions if Liz was well enough ; 
one never knew beforehand. ... 

Mrs. Ned had heard from Emma Brown, loosely, the opinion 
of the doctor to whom Lizzy had let herself be taken some years 
ago. He had diagnosed her complaint then as consumption of 
the lungs. She had heard Lizzy's brother-in-law talk of curvature. 
Now, after seeing Lizzy herself, she was inclined to agree with dear 
Dr. Acland, who had once had the patient under observation for 
a whole fortnight as far as the wilful girl would let him (she 
had been very naughty at Oxford : Ned had seen Dr. Acland's 
letter to Ruskin). Acland had considered the lungs to be only 
very slightly affected : the prime cause of ill health, in his opinion, 
was " mental power long pent up and lately over-taxed." 

He evidently thought Lizzy clever, with a lot in her, and, as 
for " over-taxing," Georgy had had every opportunity of 
observing Gabriel's effect on her own Ned, who had had to flee 
from him to the ward of the Prinseps for nearly a year, and poor 
old Morris, whom he had stimulated almost to death in the 
forcing-house of his godhead. 

1 Afterwards Mrs. Baldwin, the mother of a Prime Minister. 

Georgy thought that all Miss Siddal really wanted was a good 
rest. Had she only fallen in with Barbara Leigh-Smith's plans 
for her some years ago and gone into the Sanatorium in Euston 
Road she might have been well to-day, instead of posing as the 
" frail wretch " of Gabriel's sonnet, whose " spirit rends while 
his body endures " till it can no longer. Georgy, indeed, felt 
the cold aura of doom, mingling with her percipience of a greater 
romance than she had ever been permitted to read on the 
printed page, much less watch in the making. 




JOHN RUSKIN had been abroad most of the summer 
in the company of the New Englander whom he had 
met in Gambart's Gallery and had made a friend of, 
with the fatal facility of great men for choosing com 
panions who have power to hurt them. Stillman, "blond, 
refined," six foot three in height, nourished in infancy on the 
salted breasts of pigeons (surely an appropriate food for the 
caustic critic he afterwards became), started as an artist and sat at 
the feet of Ruskin till they quarrelled because the Professor set 
him to draw pigstyes and he criticised the Professor and his work. 1 
Ruskin had had a little too much of Stillman ; that was why, 
on his return from Saleve, he drove to Chatham Place to pay his 
respects to the newly-made bride and experience again the 
never-to-be-forgotten charm of the soft, southern voice of her 

But Mrs. Birrell's servant, trained to exhibit a lack of reci 
procity with regard to duns, shook her earrings, could not or 
would not give the Rossettis' address at Hampstead, and Mr. 
Ruskin left, after half an hour spent in looking over the handsome 
book presented to Gabriel " by a lady-friend, 53 2 in which, for the 
last few years, the painter had taken to sticking drawings of 
his wife, adding to or taking out as love or duns dictated. 

Now, the Professor (or Fessie) had fallen in love too, and with a 
little girl, not yet of marriageable age. The moment he began 
to draw, he saw " only her hair and lips, lovelier than all the 
clouds . . * and man's forehead, grander than all the rocks." 
And he had just written a book to please her. Her mother was 
beautiful too " the ablest and best woman I have ever known." 
The scene was now set for a tragedy, far worse than that of Effie 

1 " Ruskin had not yet learned the true method of painting." W. J. Stillman 
in 1870. 

2 Lady Dalrymple, Prinsep's sister. 


Millais, who had let her new John send the other John a photo 
graph of their first baby and whom he was to visit in her new 
and splendid house in Cromwell Road. (These three behaved 
beautifully and in the most modern manner.) Ruskin did not tell 
his friends about Rosie when at last he got hold of their address 
and called on them in Spring Cottage, but even as he entered the 
room, the woman saw that his heart was gone. She inclined her 
head and long neck a little and impressed a kiss " full and queenly 
kind," on the lips of this man " so ugly the sun says so ! " 
(He had just been photographed.) Mrs. Rossetti made him feel 
that somebody cared for him a little and that she was " a woman 
in ten thousand." He never forgot it : she meant him not to. 
After all, he had been very kind to her and had tried to give her a 
lift with her painting that would never be any good now ; she 
had done nothing worth looking at since three years ago. She 
needed all her strength and virtue to produce her child properly 
that she might die without the reproach of barrenness. 

She did not seem, in the twilight of the lattice window of 
Spring Cottage, to have lost her looks or even her colour. He 
thought he had saved his Gothic Cathedral after all ! 

She was sitting for her portrait it was to be called Regina 
Cor Hum (Queen of Hearts). Ruskin told Gabriel to go on paint 
ing while he told them all about Switzerland and how, the first 
thing when he got home, his mother had gone and fallen down- 
stairs,^ breaking her thigh-bone. " All her own fault ! " her 
son said in his queer way, that would have been sarcastic, if it had 
not been so full of amenity, as of the Angel Gabriel possessed of a 
sense of humour. " She will wear such abominably high shoes ; 
they turn round and make her slip." And now she had to keep 
her leg up and be waited on by Anne, whom she considered at 
times to be " fairly possessed by the devil," and was bearing the 
confinement to her room pretty well, with the help of the worst 
possible evangelical theology, which he read to her, himself, by 
the hour. . . . 

He had^ no ear for music and Lizzy's rather flat, affected 
laughter did not dismay him. She told him of their efforts to 
get a house of their own up this way ; Chatham Place was too 
expensive to keep on merely as a studio. There was one in 
Church Lane with a garden stretching down the hill towards 
London, worth (Gabriel said) at least two hundred a year to him 
m^ backgrounds. And he was drilling what did Mr. Ruskin 
think of that ? with the Artists' Corps in the waste ground 


behind the Royal Academy. Ruskin capped it by telling them 
about the boxing lessons taken from the great Tom Sayers, 
whom he had once asked to supper at the Working Men's 
College, sending down some of his father's cases of wine, but 
the wretch had not turned up ! 

As for money as he showed Ruskin out Gabriel said that 
Wondrous Flint was still being wondrous and had expressed him 
self willing to pay in advance for several things. That was what 
they were living on now. They intended to keep the Regina 
Cordium for themselves, as it was going to be as nearly a faithful 
portrait of Lizzy as he could make it and he would not sell it for 
gold ! 

The baby went wrong, and Lyddy took Lizzy to the sea to 
recover, much against her will. She was all the while dying to 
get back to London. She did not trust Gabriel, now, away from 

He did not want her back. In her pride she realised this and 
dropped the notion, " just now, when he had so many things 
to upset him," telling him instead, like a good little girl, that 
she was better and had actually " gained flesh within the last 
few days." But he is to know that she is still in constant pain 
and cannot sleep for fear of another illness like the last. (One 
feels the sage young Lydia holding her pen.) He is not to be 
anxious about her : she would not " fail to let him know in 
time." Or Lyddy will. And, after all, it is better for her to 
be in Brighton with Lyddy than all by herself in the Hampstead 

As for their contemplated move she really does not know what 
to advise. It would be all right if the rooms in Chatham Place 
could be kept on but she cannot see where the money is to 
come from just now and that, she supposes, " will settle the 

Gabriel seems to have written to his old friend Dr. Marshall, 
now grown a tremendous swell, about her, but Marshall was 
out of town. Lizzy, or Lyddy, had been sure he would be, at 
this particular time of the year and she liked Dr. Crellin well 
enough. He understood her. 

She enquires stiffly about " the fate " of a particular picture 
which he had on the stocks when she went away but supposes 


that it is going or gone somewhere this week ? Perhaps he 
will let her know where? And not go on worrying himself 
about it " as there is no real cause for doing so." 

For herself, she would be glad if he would send her down 
her water-colours " as I am quite destitute of all means of 
keeping myself alive." She had managed that for the first few 
days in " the usual way," going out in a boat boasting of her 
famous immunity he knew of" What do you say to my not 
being sick in the very roughest weather ? " 

Money she can do without until Thursday and, after Thursday, 
she and Lyddy can manage to make do with three pounds a 
week, including rent. 

And she is his affectionate . (One wonders if ever, even 

before marriage, she signed herself otherwise ?) 

The Angel had folded his wings with a vengeance. The 
patient formality of her letters at this time contrasting with 
the fervour of her verse betrays the state of their communion, 
and explains to some extent the writer's failure to inspire 
those of her husband's blood with affection, or even liking. 
Fay, indeed! Something bewitched and hindered: Little 
Bridget warped by seven years of ghostly converse. . . . 

True, she was, at the time of writing, deeply soured and 
annoyed. She had wanted " the little house in the lane " badly 
and Gabriel, while finding money for any sort of extravagance 
in jewellery for her or bibelots for himself, had let it slip for want 
of the thirty pounds which the landlord, doubtful of the solvency 
of one of the painter class (perhaps in communication with Mr. 
Duncan, the freely caricatured landlord of Chatham Place ?), had 
insisted should be paid over before giving possession. The 
longish period of uncertainty had harassed her and given her 
neuralgia and that was why her sister had taken her to Brighton. 
(Hastings and Old Nunky were now impossible : she had a 
pronounced " scunner " against the place where she had married 
and so nearly died.) 

And Gabriel had sold her portrait. 1 

1 " Its first purchaser," William Rossetti, commenting on this letter, says 
cautiously, " may have been John Miller of Liverpool." Gabriel, he presumed, 
" would rather have kept it for himself." In the sale after her death it was removed 
from the auction under some arrangement. Mr. Ruskin at one time had it. 



The money problem in September was pressing as usual, and 
more than usual. Gabriel was under heavy obligations which he 
resented, while profiting by them. He was thrall to two gentle 
men who valued his art enough to keep the artist while he worked 
off his commitments. The position left loopholes for evasion. 

Colonel Gillum and Mr. Flint were collectors : Mr. Gambart 
was a dealer, introduced to Rossetti by Ruskin, the noble sheep 
dog of whose rounding up Rossetti was still afraid. Ruskin had 
met Ernest Gambart with Rosa Bonheur at Glenfinlas in his 
terrible year, had honestly liked the little, thin, energetic French 
man but not Mademoiselle Rosa. 1 Gambart was always in and 
out of Chatham Place and one day he saw Bocca Baciata, which 
Rossetti had borrowed from Boyce to " do something to." 
Falling in love with it he offered Rossetti his own price. But of 
course Boyce wouldn't sell. So Rossetti tried to put the dealer 
off with Surd Alane^ a drawing not " married to anyone else," 
but Gambart would not give enough for it, so Rossetti agreed to 
finish another picture, that was lying about, " for better wages." 
Marshall of Leeds fell on that one and carried it away under 
his arm, so in a day or two, Gabriel tells Brown that he believes 
he will accept whatever Gambart likes to offer for the ^ other. 
He is aware that this sub-dealing will play the devil with his 
honour ; for he cannot possibly, if he undertakes a picture for 
Gambart, get on with the one he owes Colonel Gillum " without 
actual ruination," unless the plan which he submits strikes his 
adviser as a feasible way out of it. He has a pen-and-ink 
Cassandra nearly finished he might persuade Gillum to take 
that, instead of the Hamlet, for which payment had already been 
made. Not that he quite likes infringing Gillum's compact 
and, ought he to sell Cassandra for so little ? Might he not 
ask an extra ten pounds ? He does not forget that Gillum's 
" quarter day " falls at the end of the month. If the deal does 
come off it will enable him to devote a little clear time to " poor, 
dear Flint." 2 

Later in the month he wrote to Aunt Charlotte who still 
kept a soft corner in her heart and a loose purse-string for her 

1 Had Ruskin, perhaps, heard Rosa's criticism of him ? That he saw Nature 
with " little eyes, tout-a-fait comme un oiseau," and shade always as purple" yes, 
red and blue." 

2 Rossetti and bis Work, Evelyn Waugh. 


pet nephew that his wife was returning from the seaside, he 
trusted, that very night. Pathetically presupposing., as usual, that 
his family was interested, he wished much that he could give 
"better news of her." . . . He had no news, nor knew, indeed, 
if she would arrive that night at all. 

Now, Lizzy's elusiveness was for her husband too. She had told 
him, dryly, that she was better and promised that she would 
manage not to suffer to the same extent from sudden and 
violent fits of illness as she had done. She would take things in 
time and so prevent them. With the help under medical 
advice,, of course (Dr. Gull was a friend of John Tapper's), " of 
laudanum (or some other opiate) and stimulants in alternation" 
she had settled down to a drugged peace, of whose provenance he 
was perfectly cognisant, with her man, who had long since 
learned the power of obstinacy that may exist side by side with so 
much sweetness. He did not stop her doing anything she wanted 
to do, but allowed her to cope in her own way with " the continual 
decline in vital force " that was going on in her. 

Love flies out of the window when illness, i.e. ugly circum 
stance, comes in at the door ! Who shall say that, when Gabriel 
heard her bragging to the maid of the amount of " laudnum " 
she could take, it did not set him ever so little against her : 
that the memory of that time at Hastings when, for over a 
month, the revolting phenomenon of illness was in his ears and 
before his eyes, was not again " more than he could bear " and 
led to the counter-drugging he now began to practise ? 

He managed to be " good " to her. He answers kind enquiries 
about her in the style of a devoted and appreciative painter- 
husband. " Yes, indeed, my wife does draw still." He hopes 
that she is going to do better than ever now, " with her real 
genius none of your make-believe" if only she could add 
precision in carrying it out, " but that needs health and even 
the strength to work is rarely accorded to her." 


The nostalgia of having a whole house to themselves somewhere, 
or shared with somebody nice like the Joneses or the Gilchrists, 
was present but not overpowering. Leaving the cottage in 
November they decided to winter in Chatham Place, till they 
could settle in " more suburban quarters." They took Mr. 
John Holt's rooms suddenly on the second floor of Number 


Thirteen, in addition to Number Fourteen, and were allowed to 
open a door of communication between the two. Yet if he 
could find " a nice place elsewhere," they would leave the river 
and he " hoped that would be before long." He did not hope 
so ; he adored Chatham Place, " so quaint and characteristic." 

" Nothing but the conviction that these rooms are not good 
for my wife's health would induce me to move." 1 She knew this 
conviction would not really weigh and settled in with her own 
rather stagey resignation. He made a last attempt to get hold 
of his mother, writing to tell her all about these new arrange 
ments, hoping that before long they might have the pleasure of 
her company in Chatham Place. Nothing, he said, would give 
him greater pleasure as nothing, indeed, gave him more pain 
than the present state of things, amounting practically to an 
estrangement. If only his mother would believe how much it 
made him suffer and how earnestly he wanted it all put right ! 

Mrs. Rossetti faintly proposed that he should bring Lizzy to 
Albany Street, but Lizzy refused. There had been a bad quarrel 
and a night on Brown's hearthrug " There, you've killed this 
baby too ! " He had to write to his mother to say that just now 
his wife was too ill to be given the letter and that he must wait 
until she was stronger. His mother sent him another portrait 
of his father which he himself had painted long ago his first 
picture after Mary Virgin ! So that was that. 

And now hardly any of the Albany Street people except 
William who sets it meetly down that he went to Chatham 
Place " not exactly often, but not rarely " passed through the 
door, once grimy and repellant, now painted a nice, clear spring 
green, that gave admittance to Mr. and Mrs. Rossetti's bower, 
refurbished and decorated, as far as possible, like the Morrises' at 
Upton. And all the pretty things Mr. Rossetti had collected 
in his bachelor days, and huddled together in corners for lack of 
space, were now spread out. For the fireplace he had used some 
very old, blue glazed Dutch tiles representing subjects out of 
Scripture. The studio was wainscoted with green and had a 
design of sprouting trees all round on the wallpaper. No pictures, 
only the portrait of Browning on the mantelpiece and, under it, 
the cast, from life, of Keats. The drawing-room was hung round 
entirely with Mrs. Rossetti's water-colours of " poetic subjects." 
And he had lately acquired several yards of gorgeous old Utrecht 
velvet for curtains and to cover settees. It was too heavy for 
1 Letter to Norton, Ruskin, Rossetti and Pre-Rapbaelitism. 


Mrs. Rossetti in her present state to manipulate ; she had to get 
someone to come in and make them up under her direction. 
Red Lion Mary was company but when the velvet was used 
up, Lizzy was much alone. Lyddy and Georgy were a long 
bus ride away. Mrs. Brown was at Ramsgate, recovering after 
her illness, and Gabriel was not sorry, for he did not consider 
Emma good for Lizzy, though she was the oldest friend she had. 1 
Gabriel did not really dislike Emma Brown, but thought her silly 
and untruthful though, for the matter of that, all women were 
except Lizzy (he chalked that up to her), and too fond of talking 
about ghosts. One kindly ghost, Emma always told them, used 
to come into her room at Church Norton when her mother was 
away and rock the cradle. But Georgy Jones was all right and 
good Bessie and he wished that Barbara Bodichon too, with 

her cheerful spirit 

That never needed a stick to stir it, 

as Emily Faithful used to say, had been available. Or even 
Isabel Frith, the Philistine R.A.'s wife, who yet had a dream 
she never told and kept her room for one day every year, but 
managed to be cheerful and gay for the other three hundred and 


Impossible to like Gabriel's present cronies acrid Meredith, 
whose wife had just left him, or quiet Gilchrist or dull Hughes, 
while Mr. Ruskin had begun to bore her. But that winter an 
old Oxford friend of Gabriel's, whom she had met as an under 
graduate, brilliantly clever (though Meredith didn't think so 2 ), 
but who had, alas, gone down without taking a degree and re 
turned to the bosom of his family, turned up again. His stalwart 
grandfather, the friend of Mirabeau, had died suddenly and with 

1 They were not related, as Mrs. Scott thought, though both their mothers were 
Welsh. Little Annie, Elizabeth and Lydia used to be taken to see Mrs. Hill at 
St. Paul's Terrace and to play in the garden when they lived at King's Cross, in 
among the part that was now being cleared away like " other hideous eyesores " and 
" atrocious little streets " (Illustrated, London News of this date) to make room for 
the Underground. Later, Mrs. Brown was never at home to anyone on Fridays, 
when she paid her weekly visit to her mother, and to Mr. Gandy. 

2 "He is not subtle and I don't see any internal centre from which springs 
anything he does. He might possibly make a great name, but I doubt if there is 
anything solid." But Jones thought him greater than Shelley or Tennyson or 
Wordsworth. Rossetti, as only second to Morris, considering Morris " the greatest 
literary identity of our time and superior to Swinburne in execution." 


Cousin Jack, who had succeeded to the Northumberland estates, 
he did not get on. He had settled in Fitzroy Street, among the 
bars and stews of the New Road, 1 on four hundred a year, alter 
nately staying in Newcastle with Scott, with the Ashburnhams 
at Battle, and with his own people in the Isle of Wight. 

The Old Mortality crowd had taught Algernon Swinburne to 
drink and he went on drinking until he had destroyed the coats of 
his stomach. But, as yet, his health was not affected 2 except for 
a queer nervous twitching which his enemies called St. Vitus* 
Dance, and his face was like a rose-leaf under the lee of a sun 
flower, and he was universally and invariably courteous and 
debonair, as befitted one of ancient lineage and no churl. But 
he was missing the chaste airs of his old home, the intake of 
the breath and scent of the moors, the power of stretching his 
puny limbs for hours along the stones cut with runes, sunk in the 
long grasses that wave in the salt North wind, watching the 
pink legs of the heron, listening to the sly ripple of the Font 
and the Pont at his elbow, baby rivers fringed with bog myrtle 
and the androgynous sundew, half-leaf, half-flower. He could 
no longer get his rides on Boldon Sands, where the horses of the 
sea toss their ragged manes to affront the moors, or lie mother- 
naked on the sands watching the bright green undertone of 
the tenth wave as it reels and falls behind the Stag Rock at 
Bamborough. All, all foregone health too ! Withdrawn now 

Greenland and redland, 

Moorside and headland, 

he was wilting in the shades of " The Phoenix " and " The 
Green Man " and his pink cheeks growing muddied in the 
clammy airs of Marylebone. 


Both Lizzy and he were red-haired, both mined by diseases 
of the digestion, both poets and both of ancient lineage. He was 
the grandson of the sixth baronet, of Capheaton in Northumber 
land, whose ancestor had been knighted by the Second Charles 
for loyalty to the First. His forbears had " ballad names out of 
long ago," Dacres of the North, Herons of Chipchase, Thorn- 

1 Euston. 

2 The " ineffable gusto and blaze of the unfettered Swinburne," that Mr. Gosse 
speaks of, were still there. 

S 2S7 

tons of Netherwitton and there was, too, the mysterious 
foreign connection by which the youth set such store, the 
Grimaldis of the Cote d'Azur of whom the Marquis de Sade 
was a scion, all sounding soft on the ear of the Victorian 
romantic that Lizzy was. 

The common disgrace of their hair was a bond, for, in those 
days, that shade entailed a certain mild degree of persecution, 
for was not the betrayer of Our Lord a red-headed Jew called 
Iscariot ? Once a year, in Algernon's part of the world, the 
villagers turn out to stone the squirrels, bringing in so many 
head of " nasty Judases," and Fanny, the North-country woman 
on whom Lizzy had hardly set eyes since she passed under the 
archway of Somerset House on her way to sit to Walter Deverell, 
called her the " Cyprus Cat," while to Swinburne she alluded as 
" The Freak." 


Most sincerely Swinburne admired the " noble lady " whose 
$reux chevalier he was to be all his life long. 1 " A wonderful 
as well as a most lovable creature, so brilliant and appreciative a 
woman quick to hear and keen to enjoy." And her looks, 
perhaps too queer to attract amateurs of a less qualified type of 
beauty, delighted him. She was his Felise without the cattish- 
ness and with the eyes. Epithets and their multiplication gave 
him no trouble, his verse runs over with descriptions of the 
eyes of Elizabeth Eleanor " the greenest of things blue, the 
bluest of things grey," like " colours in the sea,"" green as 
green flames," blue-grey like skies " eyes coloured like the 
water-flower and deeper than the green sea's glass," and so on. 
^ It did him good to know her. 2 She wks the only woman in his 
life ever. And it is odd that he, so violent, so emphatic, so 
really cold-blooded, should be anyone's hope and joy as he was 
hers. Her carpet knight her page who kept his lady so well and 
so long amused ; how could Gabriel be jealous, though his new 
friend Hardman would have it that the young fellow was strongly 
sensual. The husband risked it and left her for hours alone with 
young Algernon while he sought more virile and congenial 

1 " I shall always be sorrowfully glad and proud to remember her regard for 
me." & 

2 He did not have his first epileptic fit until the year after she died. 

companions, returning often to find the two where he had left 
them, in the balcon7 room, looking out on the eternally ambulant 
river scene, or Across to the Sunny Hills and the blue beyond the 
smoke.^ Or Lizzy would be lying back in her own chair under 
the window, being read aloud to in that soothing Northum 
brian voice from her pet Tennyson, with whom she shared a 
love of white lilac, white peacocks and liked to be called Ida after 
his Princess. Swinburne indulged her in what Rossetti called 
" wishi-washi," and then gave her a turn of Beaumont and 
Fletcher, skipping freely. She "rippled with appreciative 
laughter," and thought it better than Shakespeare. He was 
aware that for Victorians, indecency is sanctified by the process of 
time, but he had to be careful about " The golden book of spirit 
and sense " l or even things of his own with rather less of the 
latter quality. Nor did he trouble her with his political skit 
called La Fille du Policeman* 

But when the chatelaine had retired to the solarium, as they 
termed Number Thirteen, consecrated more or less to her, 
Meredith would tell the story of " the desire of the pure printer 
for the fig-leaf" and little Swinburne, mildly drunk, and shedding 
superfluous garments freely, would dance or oblige Gabriel and 
the other men, with " La Fille-" complete, or wild excerpts from 
the works of his own distinguished ancestor, " that complete 
acme and apostle of perfection " the Marquis de Sade. Justine 
was a difficult book to get hold of in those days ; he assured them 
all that he did not possess a copy 3 but must rely on his memory. 
The adventures of Justine (and Juliette) were too much even for 
the ferro-concrete sensibilities of the complete man of the world 
that Hardman was ; " as fond of good sound bawdy as anyone." 
But he confessed to being " altogether bowled over by the 
Marquis." 7 

Her husband was less afraid of shocking Mrs. Rossetti than 
was the young Swinburne. Looking, all three of them, out of 
the south window across to the other side, Gabriel would style 
his wife affectionately " Countess of Puddledock " or " Baroness 
of the Stews," after Mrs. Martha Jacobson the procuress, granted 
these titles and many others of an impossible nature, by the Merry 
Monarch. He would stretch out his forefinger and apostrophise 

1 Thus he characterised Mademoiselle de Maupn. 

2 The sub-title of this work, finished later, Ce qui put se 'passer dans un cab-safety, 
is indicative of the bawdy that the little gentleman spared the lady. 

3 They all knew better. But perhaps he was afraid to lend it ? 


the great Diocesan church of the district, spouting the lewd 

Blessed Saint Saviour ! 

For his naughty behaviour 

That dwelt not far from the stews. 

Christina would have blanched with horror, but who lived 
with her brother must have a stomach for the unrefinements of 
humanity. " In Charlotte Street where I was born," he told 
Algernon, " every other house was a disorderly one." And all 
about the stews on Bankside with their funny names and signs 
The Cardinal's Hat, The Castle, The Bell, and Paris Garden 
opposite the end of the bridge, where Count Robert of Paris 
once had his own house, that afterwards the butchers of London 
bought for the dumping of entrails and garbage, and where the 
bull and bear baitings were held. Rossetti was firm that it was 
the smell as well as the colour of blood that so stirred mediaeval 
hearts even that gentlemanly one of Philip Sidney's like the 
sound of a trumpet. This noisy, blood-red sub-essence of 
cruelty was what Shakespeare wrote his plays on, and it went 
with Elizabethan loveliness, like lewdness, the rap of the bear, 
the guttering fang of the dog, the burning of heretics, and the 
stags brought down in front of the chair of the Maiden Queen at 
her famous huntings. 

And then Algernon's family carried him off to spend the winter 
on the " frowsy fringes of a blue land," as he was pleased to 
describe the Riviera, playing about with his sisters and pretty 
Mrs. Gaskell on the shores of that " tideless, dolorous, Midland 
sea " ; and Lizzy lost her harmless, necessary cicisbeo. 




rORPID the great Pre-Raphaelite word for weariness 
and ineptitude getting fat in spite of the drilling; 
Rossetti in the opinion of Stillman " one of the men 
most dependent on company that I have ever known " 
and getting it anywhere he could was busy making new friends 
to fill gaps in his visiting list. Brown, just now rather useless 
" seedy, poor old chap, gout and many other diseases falling thick 
upon him " Jones and Morris very much married, Munro going 
to be, Allingham in Ireland, Boyce at Brighton, ill, and Howell, 1 
the best ^ fun of them all, now, for the one disinterested action of 
his life, in hiding in Portugal. 

A more worldly set was enjoying the hospitalities of Chatham 
Place nowadays : collectors like Murray Marks and Anderson 
Rose, the solicitor who was forming a collection of China and 
old pewter in Arundel Street, and Spencer doing the same with 
books : there were Doctors Liveing and Cameron as well as 
Sandys and the young Greek lonides, who introduced him to 
the American painter Whistler (of much avail to him a year 
later), Meredith and his crony Hardman, gay, Catholic and very 
appreciative of " the celebrated Pre-Raphaelite painter at his 
meridian a jolly fellow, going to him again on Friday." At 
Chatham Place Mr. Rossetti would receive them and say that 
Mrs. Rossetti had gone to bed " perchance to sleep ! " with the 
help of her new solatium. 

He was trying to be a good husband, though indeed the 
accepted etymology of the word denoted something 2 he never 
could have been. But he was perhaps never nearer the norm 
than in these months of matrimonial crux. The usual thing was 
happening : nature as ever was shielding the race. In January he 

1 Charles Augustus Howell, led away by patriotism and Orsini, had assisted in 
the bomb-throwing. 

2 Hus Band = the Keeper of the House, Anglo-Saxon. 


wrote, " in confidence, for such, things are best waited for 
quietly," to tell his mother that Lizzy was pretty well, for her, 
and that they were " in expectation of a little accident which has 
befallen Topsy and Mrs. T. who have both become f orients" 
Theirs, however, would not be born (if at all) for another two or 
three months. 

This was why Lizzy would not let Mr. Ruskin see her, but 
stayed within her bower when he called at Chatham Place. The 
stupid man thought she really might have put on a dressing-gown 
and run in for a minute, sooner than not greet him. He com 
mented on it all while he was about it and told them both home 
truths, Gabriel " in little things habitually selfish," thinking 
only of what he liked and didn't like to do, instead of doing 
what would be kind. " But you can't make yourselves like 
me, and if you tried, you would only succeed in liking me less." 
Or perhaps they both liked him better than he supposed they did ? 
Dying to be assured of it ! He owned to having no power in 
general of believing that anyone cared for him. He fully admitted 
his lack of sympathy with so much (Medievalism ?) that they 
appreciated " and so I lose hold of you ! " 

It was true enough. Ruskin's power over the younger man 
was waning, diminished by the contempt inevitably experienced 
by the people who actually make things, for those whose job it is 
to criticise and pull them to pieces. 

And for the poor Professor everything was changed now, going 
wrong, " and so fast wrong ! " People should " lie on a stone 
bed and eat black bread, but they should never have their hearts 
broken ! " The little girl he was in love with had been forbidden 
to work, compose, write letters or use her head in any way, but 
might draw " as that does not use her brain ! It is a different 
Rosie every month now ! " * In public life, having " blown up 
the world that called itself Art," 2 he had managed to get the 
Press of this intelligent country against him. 3 Labouring under 

1 " Rosie seems but half herself, as if partly dreaming, some obscure excitement of 
the brain causing occasional loss of consciousness . . . nothing to do with any regard 
she may have for me. ... Her affection takes the form of a desire to please me 
more than any want for herself, either of my letters or of my company." She was, 
of course, growing up, but kept a child by her parents. She died when she was 

" ; . . and left it in an impossible posture, uncertain whether upon its feet or 

upon its head and conscious that there was no continuing on the bygone terms " 


3 " We don't look upon Ruskin as an impostor, only as a humbug "-Illustrated 
London News. 


a very strong inferiority- complex " poor moth me ! " he was 
everlastingly trying to assert himself to his friends and got so far 
as^ to tell Rossetti that he didn't choose to have anything to do 
with him " until you recognise my superiority as I do yours." 

Tactless, he dared to patronise Christina, who had allowed her 
brother to forward him copies of her poems for him to read, l 

Bonnets were worn " a trifle large, more in front from the top 
than before " a subtle change, becoming to drawn faces. 
Cambrai and lama lace was in, and cheaper than Chantilly, useful 
for kind, dissimulating mantelets. But Mrs. Rossetti, who would 
have known well enough how to adapt Fashion to her condition, 
refused to go out. She had a horror of any such presentation of 
the personal grotesque as had made her stay at Hastings a 
remembered nightmare. Gabriel had to go without her to the 
christening of little Jane Alice Morris in the last days of January. 

He went down with some of the fellows, Marshall, Brown and 
Swinburne, who was just back from the Continent and had not 
yet called on Lizzy. Janey was going to put them all up some 
how, in the fearless old Pre-Raphaelite fashion. The Joneses were 
already there Georgy to help the delicate Janey in preparing 
for such a large party. It was given to show the new house and 
the new baby 2 to as many of the old P.R.B. as could be got 
together and to the members of the new firm 3 which had been 
constituted, as it were, on its ashes, to fight Mr. Perkins' aniline 
dyes and nurse the silk trade, nearly killed by Cobden's Bill of 
three years ago, since when no lady's gown had been able to 
" stand alone." Premises had been acquired in Queen's Square, 

1 " Your sister should exercise herself in the severest commonplace until she can 
write what the public like. Then, if she puts in her observation and passion, all will 
become precious. But she must have the form first." " Most senseless ! " com 
mented Rossetti, " and I think I told him something of the sort in my answer." 

2 " It was a wonder she survived ; there were so many muddles before she was 
born." Chariclea lonides. 

3 The firm, founded in 1860, consisted actually, like the P.R.B. , of seven 
Rossetti, Morris, Brown, Jones, Faulkner, Philip Webb and Peter Paul Marshall. 
Faulkner wrote to William concerning the first and only prospectus issued of Morris, 
Marshall, Faulkner & Co., 8 Red Lion Square, Holborn. Fine Art Workmen in 
Painting, Carving, Furniture and the Metals. " A very desirable thing," Scotus 
says, who had not been asked to be a member and he did so like his fingers in every 
pie " a very desirable thing, Fine Art Workmen ! But isn't the list of partner 
a tremendous lark ! " 

over a working jeweller's shop, with a large ball-room built out 
at the back which could be used as a show-room. Morris had 
already been offered eight thousand by a prominent firm of 
upholsterers l if he would give it up and work for them only. 

They all went over the house and laughed to hear of the 
criticisms of Mr. Morris' neighbour, who went about telling 
everybody that these Morrises had been married in their own 
drawing-room and gave parties on Sundays. The innovations 
interested this lady vastly the walls unpapered, hung instead 
with embroidered cloths so dust-making ! Not a carpet any 
where but little islets of Persian rug in " surrounds " of paint. 
Red brick hoods over all the fireplaces and brass dogs. The 
absence of mirrors Mr. Morris happened to hate them puzzled 
Mrs. Friswell. She thought that the windows of the hall need 
not have been cut so high and the roof raised so dreadfully steep, 
but she granted the chimneys " charming," and even Janey's 
gowns, made of a strong diagonally ribbed blue 2 material, 
warranted never to wear out, suitable either for dresses or for 
curtains. She would only change for supper to one of silk in 
the same colour ; 3 the products of Leek were nearly all, so far, 
blue or red. 

Back from Leek that night was the host, tired and hot, sitting at 
the head of his home-made T-shaped table in a draught, for he 
preferred it looking magnificent (the upper part of his body was 
better than the lower) ; his hands stained to the elbow with the 
woad he handled all day and every day, those eyes of his, with the 
filmed observant look of an eagle, seeing everything. He would 
be shocking people on purpose to see what they could stand, 
offering them^" pig's flesh " when he meant ham, and fish " with 
a pudding in its innards " when it was stuffed asking his guests 
when they left the table if they were " full " ? One saw how he 
had come to fret and estrange his wife by his fidgettiness and want 
of apropos. 

^ An inarticulate, disconcerting creature, she was to-night more 
silent than ever. Gabriel too ; Georgy, his neighbour at supper, 
noticed that he drank the health of Baby in water, confining his 

1 Was it Hellbronner's where, for very long afterwards, the P.R.B. ladies used to 
get their expensive dress-lengths of brocade that " lasted " ? 

2 Wrongly dubbed by Mrs. Friswell " peacock-blue." 

3 Dyeing was, for them, a tremendous speculation. " Kiss me, love, for who 
knoweth ? " Morris would quote as he saw twenty pounds of raw green silk go 
into the vat, hoping to come out blue. 


repast to raisins, which he munched " in a royal manner," helping 
himself from the dish in front of him before the proper time and, 
with scant, strained and elaborate courtesy, flinging a word now 
and then to the little woman at his side. 

Later that evening Georgy went with Janey to look at the beds 
" strewn about the drawing-room " for the men. To Swinburne, 
on account of his diminutive stature, they had allotted the sofa. 


Lizzy mostly chose to stay at home during these " gestes." 
She had gone longer than ever before and they had strong hopes. 
But in these piteous months of malaise and ungainliness, while 
Woman " carries the angel of death under her girdle/' 1 she would 
not " sit " much which gave Fanny her chance. Gabriel did 
not object to his mate's appearance, any more than the proud 
burgess in the Flemish picture may have done; but Lizzy, 
to use the phrase in other than its slang value, knew she was 
nothing if not picturesque. She still let him draw her sometimes, 
sitting back in her big arm-chair propped up with a cushion, her 
head sunk in the hollow made by its weight, her hair dressed 
elaborately, lifted from her brows, spread like gold lace on the 
pillow. But that was not enough. ... In pique, letting slide 
the three pictures for which Mr. Flint had already paid, he had 
pulled out Found. Mr. Leatheart had now commissioned it. 
Since McCracken's order lapsed, he had been careful to hide it, 
perhaps from obscure tribal notions of concealment, perhaps to 
ward off chaff from those yet alive who had presided at the 
flourish of its inception. He had re-christened it The Drover. 
To Lizzy he said, " This means good money, 5 ' to pacify her for 
its revival, involving the original model. 

For Fanny's hair, equally abundant, was less red and more truly 
golden than hers. And Fanny, of the curiously tragic counten 
ance, stoutish though shapely, comfortable, without angles, 
strong as a horse, could sit for hours without getting tired. 
Fanny could chatter and amuse, or hold her tongue when she 
was told to do so, could cook things with onions Gabriel often 
went, Lizzy was sure, all the way to Wapping to enjoy her 
savoury stews. Of Fanny, Lizzy was positively unable to tolerate 
the mention although, to all his friends, she was grown a gorgeous 

1 Flower, Fruit and Thorn Pieces, Jean Paul Friedrich Richter. 

She came every day to sit, not only for the castaway crouching 
under the lee of the bridge-head, but for ladies, classical, 1 Roman, 
mediaeval, mythological for Cassandra, Delia, Lucrezia, Lilith, 
Blancheflor and Fair Rosamond. 

It was obvious that poor Mrs. Gabriel moped she saw so very 
few people. Mrs. Ned, of course, but Mrs. Ned was busy she 
had married a delicate man and they were moving to rooms 
opposite the Museum, roomier than Great Ormond Street in 
view of a coming event. And Lizzy's sister, whom Gabriel liked 
and could always do with, was about to be married. Algernon 
Swinburne was back in town, living in Newman Street, but he 
was a man, and worse, a boy. She only had her pets, that Gabriel 
jeered at. ... 

Ladies were by way of keeping birds in those days, not Alsatians. 
Pale canaries moped in a hundred cages in Pimlico, larks attempted 
to soar in Wood Street, parrots and macaws shrieked and croaked 
everywhere. Mrs. Rossetti preferred doves, that filled the rooms 
with their soothing senseless croo-crooing. Wicker cages hung 
on nails at every window in her part of the chambers there was a 
bullfinch too ! 

Looking up at the cages, rising, busying herself to feed the little 
things every now and then, she would return to the particular 
stool she affected, in the middle of the room, to brood over wrongs 
real and fancied. . . . Real, her loneliness, her outlandishness, the 
dreadful solidarity of Gabriel's family who regarded her, she well 
knew, as little more than an ailing, incompetent interloper. 
Their fertility in devising, contrasted with her own paucity of 
production, annoyed and hurt her. William was engaged on a 
translation of The Inferno and would come to, or after, tea, 
bringing sheaves of manuscript of his own for discussion. Gabriel 
was " pushing on " with his translations from Italian poetry and 
William was helping him to collate the section relating to Dante, 
whom William knew all about. Their mother was attending to 
the " literals " she was stronger in the Italian language and its 
locutions than either of them. The manuscript had been sent 
round to some of Gabriel's friends, Allingham, Gilchrist and 
Ruskin the latter was going to pay a hundred pounds towards 
publication. Christina's volume of poems was forward, and as 
she put them together, correcting, naming them, Gabriel looked 

1 One can ascertain pretty well the pictures for which Mrs. Hughes sat they 
were the ones that patient William, at his brotherly task of executorship in Cheyne 
Walk, missed and could not, " for practical purposes, trace." 


over and, with the unerring eye of the great critic he was, picked 
out the best. When I was Dead, my Spirit Turned, and desired that 
it should be renamed At Home. William and Christina in return 
read Gabriel's. To William's " Isn't The Portrait rather spoon- 
meat ? " he agreed, but disregarded Christina's grammatical cor 
rections. 1 

" Thanks about the ye, but I am afraid I don't think it matters 

" It may have been," to use William's cautious phrase, " about 
this time " that Gabriel finished and handed to Ruskin for his 
approbation something much nearer to his heart than the poems 
of Guido Cavalcanti and Ciullo d'Alcamo. They were his own, 
collected since youth, in a little book covered with old, already 
faded, green silk. 2 Ever since November he had been working 
on them, " furbishing up enough for a volume," he said in a letter 
to a brother poet. And " I really believe I shall print the thing ! " 

Presently his friends in London were bidden to come and hear 
him read the poems aloud, one by one as they got " furbished up " 
until all, or nearly all of them certainly Swinburne with his 
marvellous memory had got them off by heart. 

These privileged persons heard recited in that soft cajoling 
voice, The Blessed Damozel, The Witch (as he first called Sister 
Helen), The Last Confession, inspired by Italian patriotism, The 
Card Dealer, The Song of the Bower, Beauty and The Bird (or The 
Bullfinch), one of the cycle of birdcage poems commanded by the 
Misses Devzrdl,Placata Venere (afterwards called Nuptial Sleep] 
so says William ? The Burden of Nineveh and The Portrait, Love's 
Nocturne and Jenny. To absent ones like Allingham he posted 
them and then, ashamed to be nervous, " but indeed a belated 
MS. frightens me," frantically reclaimed them. To Ruskin he 
sent The Portrait, Love's Nocturne and Jenny, asking him to send 
on one or all to Thackeray for The CornhilL A thorough man of 
business, he designed this first mild journalistic appearance as a 
ballon d'essai. Ruskin, fastening on The Portrait and Love's 

1 She said that he had used the nominative case when it should have been the 
objective you. 

2 I have seen two of these dear-bought leaves, livid, nearly black, like the head of 
an Egyptian mummy, indescribably macabre and horrible-looking. The boards and 
the silk have, of course, perished. 


Nocturne for The Cornhill, was very funny about Jenny, refusing 
to send it on on account of its " too great boldness for the common 
reader." x Besides, he added, " fail " does not rhyme with 
" Bell " nor " Jenny " with " guinea."-H(Didn't the poor dear 
Professor know that the name can be and is pronounced Jinny ?). 
" The throwing of gold into a girl's hair is disorderly the lover 
is altogether a disorderly person." He did not want to seem prim 
and did not " mean to say that an entirely right-minded person 
never kept a mistress," but sent the more ladylike Nocturne to 
" Thack " who took no notice of it. 

Her husband came to be so utterly absorbed in this book 
that he hardly replied when Lizzy spoke to him or noticed when 
she entered the room : when he did, he let her see that her rest 
lessness and the unwieldiness of her body disturbed and displeased 

And by him just now her fundamental ideas of equity were 
being most deeply outraged in many a way. The girl who 
had had the heart to put by Mr. Ruskin's subsidy the moment 
she found herself unable to deliver the goods with regularity, who 
placed probity before art, could not bear to see her husband 
cheating his employers, i.e. his buyers. It seemed to her that he 
was in honour bound to supply the work for which he had already 
been paid, before taking up fresh commissions. The Llandaff 
altar-piece was positively due before the end of August. For all 
sorts of other work Mr. Flint had paid him on account and he had 
spent already the six hundred and eighty-two pounds, yet she 
could hear him telling people that he " felt himself bound to do 
Found " for Mr. Leatheart (who, wise man, had not paid ahead), 
so that he could " devote himself properly to Flint's pictures." 
Putting the cart before the horse : that was dishonest. She had 
no patience with Gabriel's theory that dealers should consider 
themselves honoured by being permitted to help great men to 
live ; she knew also that she and Gabriel could live less extrava 
gantly. There was no need for so much entertaining. Gabriel 
seized on the slightest excuse for a party and parties meant her 
disappearance from the scene. That was nothing : she did not 

want to see sottish men like ! All day and every day, 

urgent letters went by Croucher, the family handy-man, or Green 
the frame-maker, or Red Lion Mary, to friends, to his mother's. 
Linton wanted to meet William, so would William arrange to come 
in one evening " and I'll ask two or three men besides " ? . . . 

1 One sees what lie thought of the magazine public of that day. 


Two or three ! More like twenty. And the parties had taken 
to costing so much more ; for that Mr. Hardman had taught 
Gabriel to give proper or improper supper parties, beginning 
at the unearthly hour of half-past eleven, champagne cup and 
punch after and cigars in the drawing-room. Howell, who came 
from Oporto, knew all about wine where to get it and had 
introduced a friend of his, Mr. Keeling, a wine merchant. . . . 
Gabriel never drank too much, but one night he came to her 
after they had all gone, and they had a worse quarrel than usual 
and she told him she was certain the child was dead in her body. 

She frightened him well and he let a kind, warm-hearted 
woman l whom he had lately come to love and trust much, see it. 
" My great anxiety about my wife lasts still." . . . All, he assured 
Mrs. Gilchrist, was being done for the best : he had confidence in 
Dr. Hutchinson and had taken care, moreover, to get another 
opinion from Dr. Babington. Her nurse, recommended by his 
mother, who lived in Arlington Street near their old home, was 
an old North-country woman, full of character, all of it good and 
her conversation so fascinating ! Mrs. Jones at once engaged her 
for her own affair, to come off at the end of the year. 

Faced by this new crisis, Lizzy herself was calm and sensible, 
not in the least down-hearted, which the doctor agreed was the 
greatest of assets. She was writing poetry. " And we can only 
hope for a happy termination " Rossetti, paterfamilias for the 
only time in his life, writes. . . . 


It was not to be. Legitimate paternity at least, was denied 
him. By May Day " there was illness and anxiety in Chatham 
Place," says Mrs. Jones, who managed to get regular news about 
her friend from Red Lion Mary, who " sewed " for them both. 
Thus she learned on Friday early that, in the night, Mrs. Rossetti 
had been confined. And then she heard from Gabriel. " Our fears 
were correct in one respect, the child was still-born." " But," he 
added, " she herself is so far the most important that I can feel 
nothing but thankfulness." To his mother he imparted the tidings 
in stiffer fashion " and she is doing pretty well, I trust." To 
another friend he wrote, " She fares, as yet, thank God, better 
than we ventured to hope." Anxiety of course there still was 

1 Anne Gilchrist, with her beautiful, speaking face, her eyes full, dark and liquid, 
vivacious, full of heart-stirring enthusiasms, never lanquid, fidgety or out of temper. 
A copious talker. She was the same age as Mrs. Rossetti. 


and, pathetically enough in view of the family attitude, he begs 
his mother not to " encourage people to call just yet excepting 
yourselves, of course." No indication whatever of this intention 
was exhibited by Albany Street ; no such thing as a mother trod, 
in felt slippers, dealing sympathy, the muted halls of Chatham 
Place except in the young wife's poetry. 


O mother, open the window wide 

And let the daylight in ; 
The hills grow darker to my sight, 

And thoughts begin to swim. 

And, mother dear, take my young son 

(Since I was born of thee), 
And care for all his little ways, 

And nurse him on thy knee. 

And, mother dear, when the sun has set, 

And the pale church grass waves, 
Then carry me through the dim twilight 

And hide me among the graves. 

It was a girl. Emma Brown thought that, though Gabriel de 
sired a son badly, the child, had it lived, would have made an im 
mense difference to them both. Extreme melancholia overcame 
the mother. She had taken much j oy in preparing the usual layette 
and cradle, swathed and wreathed with lace and ribbon, and now 
she would sit alone for hours on her low stool in the middle of the 
River Room rocking it, ready and empty. When the Joneses, her 
first visitors, came they found her so and, as they entered and 
Ned was about to close the door, she cried out in a wild sort of 
voice, " Hush, Ned ! You'll wake it ! *' Jones, who did not 
adore her so whole-heartedly as Georgy but only loved her because 
she was his dear Gabriel's wife, suspected her of a certain amount 
of histrionics : he had been shown the poem. A later form of 
her mania was a desire to hide away all traces of what might have 
been, to hand everything useful over to Georgy for her approaching 
necessity. Gabriel, letting superstition get the better of sense, 
wrote to Georgy telling her he had heard that his wife was thinking 
of sending her a " certain small wardrobe but don't let her, 
please ! It looks such a bad omen for us." 

" Us " still ! For he meant to try again, and her quick 
recuperation and renewed beauty revived his ancient passion 
for her. 


But she chose to consider that the mishap was all his fault. 
Elegant again, soft, beautiful as never before, she was soon fit to 
see women visitors and often Mr. Swinburne. In that flighty 
way of hers which she did not now trouble to control, she com 
plained of her husband and gave the young man to understand 
that, if it had not been for Gabriel, the child would have been 
alive now. Algernon, through his mother's warding, innocent 1 
more than most, of the mysteries of gestation and parturition, 
excessive, inconsequent, full of violent and grotesque imaginings, 
may have conceived that his Lady had been made the victim of 
some fearful Elizabethan malfeasance or other, and, talking as 
usual wittily, bitingly and at random, to astonish people, made 
mischief for Rossetti at one of Milnes' smoking parties and vastly 
amused the host, in his red robe and cap almost like a cardinal's. 
Rossetti, informed by Brown at secondhand of what had passed, 
only laughed to hear that " procuring abortions " was to him, 
Rossetti, "an every-day amusement." Forced by Brown and 
even Jones to take some steps, he expostulated mildly with 
Algernon, who cried and took the matter so much to heart that 
Rossetti, generous as ever, did not press the point. But it was 
another nail in Lizzy's coffin. 

Algernon was probably tipsy when he said it : half a glass of 
wine was enough to upset him. His increasing propensity 
distracted Mrs. Rossetti, who knew well enough what drink led 
to and, thinking as all nice women will, that she could cure him, 
took him in hand until -Brown actually got quite anxious and 
Gabriel, to tease Brown, pretended to be jealous. 

Algernon came every day for her to lecture and mother him 
and she, when he attended their parties, used to pin a bit of 
paper with his address on to his great-coat, inside the collar, so 
that, should he be too overcome to give it properly, the cabman 
would know where to deposit him. 

For they were entertaining tremendously. Invitations, lively 
and informal, ran, " Come, we have hung up our Japanese brooms, 
etc." Countesses rolled in their carriages to Blackfriars to see 
the Pre-Raphaelites in their habitat the Ladies Waterford, and 
Trevelyan, and Bath, all eager to break new ground and meet the 

1 Swinburne, when Poems and Ballads was withdrawn in the first week, was 
admitted, even by some of his reviewers, to be " not virtuous enough to know what 
they (his poems) meant or vicious enough to explain them." 


exponents of the cult they admired and whose pictures they 
bought. A good sprinkling of Philistines like Hardman and 
Anderson Rose ; journalists like Hepworth Dixon and Joseph 
Knight ; among authors, Westland Marston and his daughters. 
Patmore and a wife, Meredith with his handsome head, Edward 
Lear, round and funny ; Martineau, Halliday, chattering Tebbs 
and Mrs. Tebbs who was their dead friend Seddon's beautiful 
sister. There would be Sandys, Mark Anthony and his daugh 
ters ; Peter Paul Marshall and his wife Gussy, the daughter of 
jolly old John Miller of Liverpool, the picture buyer ; " Val " 

with a head like a broom and the heart of a (vide Rossetti's 

Limerick), and Inchbold, a dangerous guest because he always 
wanted a bed x and never went away ; Hungerford Pollen, Munro, 
Hughes and Faulkner and a couple of Christina's admirers, Cayley 
and John Brett 2 ("No, thank you, John"}. There would be 
Morris and his wife, of course, and the Joneses. Not Stephens ; 
not asked, he had just married Mrs. Charles and had said Lizzy 
was " freckled." Holman Hunt was away. Excepting Georgy 
there were not many of Lizzy's particular friends. Emma Brown 
was at the sea and Bessie Parkes and Barbara Bodichon were abroad. 
But Mary Howitt brought her shy husband, Alaric " Attila " 
Watts, and sat with him in a corner taking notes for her diary 
that would have rejoiced a daily paper of to-day. 

" On Friday evening, June 2Oth ? 1861, we went to a great 
Pre-Raphaelite crush. Their pictures covered the walls and their 
sketch-books the tables. The uncrinolined women, with their 
wild hair which was very beautiful, their picturesque dresses and 
rich colourings, looked like figures out of some Pre-Raphaelite 

" It was very curious. I think of it now like some hot struggling 
dream in which the gorgeous and fantastic forms moved slowly 
about. They seemed all so young and kindred to each other that 
I felt out of place, though I admired them all, and really enjoyed 
looking over Dante Rossetti's huge sketch-book." 3 

1 There is a mad artist called Inchbold, 
With whom you must be at a pinch bold, 
Or else you may score 
The brass plate at your door 
With the name of J. W. Inchbold. 

2 Mr. John Brett, R.A., who told me that Miss Rossetti refused him. 

3 A big bound book of blank paper which Lady Dalrymple had presented to 
Rossetti the book that once cheered Ruskin through a long wait. 




to hear of your wife's health." So Patmore 
to Rossetti that Spring. 

Those about her knew better. She was only what 
^people called " so-so " that is, she ate well, took a 
walk daily, had got out her water-colours and was working hard, 
" but none the better for it," her husband said, telling 
a friend of their mutual activities and the new garnishings of 
their home. Though she was not kept indoors by her com 
plaint, even when the weather was inclement, William, who 
had talked to Dr. Gull, realised that the disease was running 
its course and had now got thorough hold. William gave her 
six or seven years at most to live, and that was a sanguine view, 
for him. 

She knew it herself. Strong-willed, vain, she was determined, 
before she died, to produce a son to lay, in classic fashion, on the 
knees of Gabriel's mother and so justify his marriage to an 

It had been one of the coldest of winters : there had been 
skating on the Serpentine by night, the fire-plug open on the 
mains. The coming summer promised to be one of the hottest. 
" Nightingale colds " were prevalent, for people left their 
windows open to hear these unusual birds. 1 Nightingales or no 
nightingales they could not do it in Chatham Place, because of 
the smell of the river awful and insistent despite the purge of 
the great and happily devastating fire which, the very night after 
the Rossetti party, began on the other side, sweeping &way any 
amount of wharves and their greasy, fetid buttresses standing in 
stagnant water Cotton's, Chamberlain's, Fleming's, Hay's and 
Beale's. Compared with their usual effluvia, the smell of burning 
tallow, which had assailed the nostrils, for three days and nights, 
was ambrosial. Gabriel was suffering from an ulcerated throat 

1 There may have been some in the Temple Gardens. 
T 273 

with, occasional fever and a temper. One of Raskin's letters to him 
at this time began, " Dear Rossetti (I had almost written Dear 
Bear !)." He was working too hard. He had finished a picture 
for Flint, spurred not so much by Lizzy's monitions as by that 
gentleman's rumoured infidelities. William had heard, through 
Scott, that Flint was beginning to " run " Hunt and had given 
three (or four thousand pounds) for five sketches which used to 
hang in Hunt's house in Church Street. Gambart had been 
clever enough to buy them up when Hunt went abroad and knew 
how to force them, now that Hunt had become famous, on the 
great Leeds buyer. Mr. Flint, also on Gambart's suggestion, had 
bought Christ in the Temple for four thousand pounds or more, so 

gossip said. Hunt was still away. Gabriel was reluctant to shelve 
the cartoons illustrating The Parable of the Vineyard, seven 
designs, that he had undertaken for the centre light of The Shop's 
front door. He had been delayed for want of a number of The 
Pictorial History of England, containing a print of a Saxon wine 
press. The opening day was near and he had promised if he 
could " spare another hour from LlandajJ to send it on in the 
evening. Pure labours of love like this were not irksome to his 
generous disposition, but it seemed dreadful to him to work, as 
Lizzy was making him work, for money that he had already 
acquired and spent. And, as it was, bills came pouring in for 
what he called " necessary debts," i.e. for which he was liable to 
be dunned. He complained to Brown that " all my yesterday 
has been spent in paying out," and that when he was done he only 


had left, out of a hundred guineas which had come to hand, about 
twenty-five. He " anticipated more accounts dropping in " 
(Who does not ?). " And so, my dear fellow, I must "be a defaulter 
to you again." I Some of the unnecessary expenditure was for 
Lizzy or for showy charities, such as seats for poor Robert 
Brough's benefit and Mrs. Brough had all Lizzy's jewellery 
already ! 

She wanted to get into the country but was up against her own 
austere programme for Gabriel : the performance of work over 
due. " She has to sit to me a good deal." The cottage at 
Scalands was at her disposal, maid included. Or they could have 
gone to Mrs. Gilchrist's place at East Colne, which she would 
have liked less though Gabriel was inclined to it : he thought 
of her, for once, writing that he wished they could have 
accepted " some sun would be good for my wife. We must 

But something was nearly always found to keep him in town 
(Fanny, so the wife supposed, or even Kate). Mrs. Rossetti 
was good and went down to the Morrises at Bexley Heath now 
and then and Mr. Rossetti joined her there, " for such outs as I 
am able to make " posing as the busy man-of-brushes. 

In July he was faced by " the most difficult fix I ever was in ! " 
said he. " I told you so," said she, and she had been telling him 
so all along, like any scolding housemate. It was all his own fault. 
He had " found it impracticable " to devote himself as was 
clearly his duty, to the three pictures for which Mr. Flint had paid 
him in advance seven hundred and fourteen pounds, and now 
Mr. Flint had died suddenly and the pressure from his executors 
and their agents began and was, to say the least of it, " inopportune 
and harassing." Gambart, as London agent to Mrs. Flint 
with three others, to make the gesture more portentous and 
insulting, beat up the defaulters and called on the three worst 
ones, Brown, Jones and Rossetti, to view the pictures " in 

They all arranged matters after their lights of probity. 
Brown went further into debt to pay his debt, Jones compounded 
with G. F. Bodley and did a replica, " slightly varied," of an 
important altar-piece he had ready for a church at Brighton but 

1 To Brown. 

" really too elaborate to tell its story from a distance," so he sold 
that and did another and a simpler one and made his peace with 
both worlds. 1 

In Rossetti's case the pictures were like the Emperor's clothes, 
non-existent, except for the little Doctor Johnson at ^he Mitre. 
At any rate, Gambart saw nothing not even the painter. 
Rossetti's point was that he refused to show work unfinished to 
anyone whatsoever and drafted a letter 2 to that effect for the 
executors which, in default of William (now touring abroad with 
his mother and sister, introducing the Continent to the latter for 
the first time), he showed to Brown. It was an offer, within 
three months of the present date, to name a day for handing over 
the pictures "when I shall better know my engagements. 5 ' 
Llandaff must be got out of the way first. Concerning the 
probate duty, he said he had already told their Mr. Knight every 
thing that gentleman needed to know, viz. the amount of the 
commission. With regard to " delay in the undetermined, delivery 
of these commissions " that was, of course, the result of his desire 
to do justice to the estate, for, if they hurried him, the pictures 
would be bad ; whereas, if they allowed him to take his own time, 
they would be good. And he refused to see anyone 3 " on 
business which no interviews can further," and ended with the 
pleasant proposition that within the space of three months, 
fixed by himself , the trustees shall " hear from him as to 

When William got back he called on Gambart and listened 
patiently to complaints of brother Gabriel. The dealer hinted 
that he " and others concerned " had been debating whether to 
advise Mrs. Flint to administer and so make herself responsible 
for debts. " If things go on so," she might find herself compelled 
to leave the creditors to realise without the option of administra 
tion. The suggestion leaves Gabriel calm. He will have nothing 
more to do with Gambart once his friend but now " so offen 
sive" that he can't be stood at any price. He has made a 

1 Alfred Hunt, moved by the destitution of Mrs. Flint, forewent his claim for 
work done and bought up some of his own pictures for more than he got in the 
first instance. 

The Sale was rather a touchstone : the figures show how, by skilful pilotage, 
Rossetti was building up his reputation. Hughes' Belle Dame, sold at ^250, went 
for j6o. Brown's work brought in 550, but Rossetti's Burd Alane, sold at .84, 
pretty nearly maintained its price and represented the triumph of the day. 

2 Was it ever sent ? 

3 Rossetti, his Life and Work, Waugh. 

Limerick 1 about him to that effect. He will write direct to the 
trustees, who, he is sure, are not for a moment thinking of going 
to law. So William is to do nothing about Combe and Garnett, 
only William must be careful to post letters " from where I am 
not," for Gambart is " quite leary enough to notice postmarks." 
He tried to get the trustees to treat, through Ruskin, on his 
behalf, but learned to his vexation that the upright and tactless 
Professor had actually recommended these worthies to make use 
of Gambart's services. 

Someone taking an interest in Mrs. Rossetti's health in these 
times of stress wrote to her brother-in-law. "You ask me 
after Gabriel's wife ? " he is sorry to say that she was " ex 
ceedingly ill some time ago " but hopes that she " has remained 
better since." 

Ruskin was home again, " at least in the place which ought to 
be home." He had been in Ireland with the Latouches, trying 
to acquire a cottage near his Rosie, involving himself more and 
more deeply with Rosie's religious mother, signing wild compacts. 
. . . His faith was tottering, but she made him promise to make 
no published avowal of his infidelity for the next ten years, on 
pain of losing both her friendship and that of her child. There 
was his own mother too, full as pious as Mrs. Latouche. She 
perhaps thought of that ? 

Gabriel wrote to him to complain of Gambart, who had abused 
him to William, leading William to think that he had been 
" acting wilful wrong " to Mrs. Flint. It was all owing 
to the late Mr. Flint's " unfortunate habit of pressing money 
on him for work in progress " offers of which he naturally 
availed himself, having an ailing wife and a child coming. " I 
had to do other work, to live, while I painted them." 

In this letter he adumbrated a plan and Ruskin approved, as it 
was entirely in Mrs. Flint's interests. Yes, if he is referred to, 
he says he will certainly recommend it. But he hoped that some 
body would soon throw Gabriel into prison " and we will have 

1 There is an old he-wolf called Gambart 
Beware of him if thou a lamb art. 

Else thy tail and thy toes, 

And thine innocent nose, 
Will be ground by the grinders of Gambart. 


the cell made nice and airy and cheery and tidy " and, because of 
all these amenities, Gabriel will get on with his work " gloriously." 
His " love to Ida." 

He was lost to them as far as any help in him went. 


" The death of Flint nearly ruined me," Gabriel would say 
complacently in years to come. In more senses than one, 
perhaps ! With the queer under-wisdom of the great, he knew. 
His conduct of these matters had deeply jarred his wife's sense of 
rectitude and made her morally averse to him whose passions, 
she for her own purpose and Nature's, was seeking to arouse. 
She went her own way to work methods nerve-racking, 
destroying. She tried jealousy and put up little Swinburne as 
a possible rival (or allowed Brown to do it for her). But Gabriel 
refused to object and treated them both like children. They 
quarrelled over Algernon. She annoyed Gabriel by the example, 
always held up before him, of the young man's regularity in all 
that pertained to money matters. Yes, he was a good payer. 
But did she know, then, that Algernon had a secure income and 
set his punctiliousness with regard to bills against that ? Yes, 
for she, too, was of good old English family, the daughter of 
humble people who were yet so proud that they sent their young 
daughters out to work sooner than owe a farthing. " And," he 
would retort, " to defray the costs of litigation." The late 
Charles Siddall had spent pounds on his fight for the Greaves 
money. Yes, but when he had all but won the case, young Clara 
had got hold of the papers and put them on the fire sooner than 
have her father worry himself any more about them or make the 
further effort necessary to get hold of the money. A beautiful 
action ! 

The fathomless and boundless deep, 
There we wander, there we sleep. . . . 

They quarrelled babyishly, bitterly, suicidally until the very 
centres of life for both of them were involved. The Browns' 
hearthrug received her convulsed form, flung down, twisting, 
heaving, shaken in gusts of passion that nothing in the way of 
comfort and kind words could allay. They just threw a rug 
over her and crept to bed, to lie awake themselves. Next morning 
they would give her her breakfast and she would go home, weak 
as water. 


For Gabriel, the finer vessel, when all was said and done, there 
was no recovery. Melusine did her work and La Pia could not 
save. They would hear him reciting Blake, 1 Dante, Keats La 
Belle Dame tags on which the tortured spirit fastened, as a 
shipwrecked sailor to a spar from the roof tree of his House of 
Life. A man, now, grave, bluff and sensible, watch-chain looped 
on opulent waistcoat : to look at, Allingham said, something like 
a " prosperous citizen of Genoa." Nothing wild or spiritual 
about him any more except the eyes, so beautiful and tender : 
brooding and puzzled. A woman, she, bitter, thinning, with 
shrunk bosom and eyes more prominent than ever ; together 
they must exist in that doomed house until her time came. 
Stoically in his drawings he registered, with Pre-Raphaelite truth, 
the new outline, in sketches of the once beloved head, mostly 
pillowed, the bows of hair less opulently outspread, the forehead 
lined ; twists instead of curves in the cynical, sensual mouth of 
the Blessed Damozel, abusing, pining for the lover she has left 
behind, leaning out of Heaven and looking down 

.... as low as where this earth 
Spins like a fretful midge, 

in the attitude of one who yearns and forgives. 


Quarrels are often merrily incurred by women in whom one 
set of nerves affected is as good as another, considered as a means 
to a certain end, but " Amantium ir&, redintegratio Amoris " ? 
never ! Lovers' talk in the innermost chamber " Nay, but the 
hours, clashed together, lose count in the bell" and the voice of love 
harshened by dismay, raised in anger, can never whisper again. 

For Gabriel, now, a difference between the gloomy house at 

1 A deep winter, dark and cold, 
Within my heart thou dost unfold. 

Iron tears and groans of lead 

Thou bend'st about my aching head. 

And fill with tempests all my morn, 
And with jealousies and fears 
Fill my pleasant night with tears. 

" Never perhaps," says Rossetti somewhere of this poem, " have the agony and 
perversity of sundered love been more adequately rendered." 


whose base the greasy waters sucked continually, the air about 
it heavy, resounding many times a day with the clang of many 
chimes : between this room " so full of books and clamorous 
work undone/' with its innermost chamber that was Lizzy's 
bower, and that of " handsome Jenny mine ! " Both beautiful, 
desirable women, with the right hair, golden Lizzy's the redder 
and finer Fanny's the yellower and coarser, sunned and tanned 
by the wind of the Essex marshes where she was reared. Both 
with the same full white throat, flung back. . . . Fanny Hughes, 
a woman lusty and fierce, not weak and wilting : of normal, not 
nervous, reactions, in sex-moments complaisant without sex- 
purposeFanny didn't want any babies, not she there was a 
Mr. Hughes ! And she would be glad enough to sleep the whole 
night quietly in his arms or, " lazy, laughing, languid " after his 
embraces, sit up when invited to do so and sip heartily from the 
glass he would fill for her and let them go to sleep again. What 
if, like Jenny of the poem, the subject of her dreams was the coin 
wrapped in the meshes of her hair, for her to find when she 
awoke and the tactful lover gone ? " A pre-eminently sweet 
woman," as even sour old Scott, who knew so much about her, 
owned : kind and motherly as well as eager and passionate, knowing 
her woman's job thoroughly when to cajole and when to leave 
alone. ... She really seemed to have for her " Mr. Rizzetty 
some of the decent mother-love of one of Patmore's "Angels " 
who would work their fingers to the bone to make him green 
baize coats to work in, or the wife of Sydney Dobell, who used to 
lie down across his bedroom door when he was ill. She really 
felt, or simulated, the tenderness in which poor Lizzy was entirely 
lacking and would cook for him as well as lie with him ; he was 
always sure of his favourite dish when he went to see her. Her 
rounded form was his pillow she was " The Lumpses," so good 
to roll over against in the night so he told Lizzy in one of their 
quarrels. Her " large, lovely arms " that waited for, him were 
his shelter against the world's rubs and unkindnesses, her Cock- 
neyisms his relief from the well-bred, susurrant accents of the 
embittered housemate ; her commonness, his refuge against too 
much refinement and esotericism. 


Order in disorder ! Gabriel had become a creature of habit 
two habits. Lizzy was merely one of them. And his powers of 


inhibition were so well adjusted that he was actually " nicer " to 
his wife when he had been with the other ; then there was a 
surcease of quarrelling. 

The wife hardly knew where the mistress lived somewhere, 
she took it, on the other side of the river Wapping perhaps 
not so very far from her own people ? She left it at that. Sh.e 
did not choose to know. She was, for many reasons, afraid. She 
never spoke of Fanny to him or to anyone except Brown and his 
wife ; not even to Georgy Jones. She never entered the studio 
when the woman was there, but stole in, after she had gone, to 
con the lineaments of the destroyer of her peace if the noisy 
desert, full of the dust of recrimination in which she lived, could 
be called so. And to see what had been taken for Brown and 
all Rossetti's other friends knew that where Fanny sat, she stole ; 
that where the treasure was, the thing she called her heart was 
also. Very anxiously Mrs. Rossetti was watching the progress of 
the red chalk drawing of Algernon which she herself intended to 
take away and hide as soon as it was done. Artists themselves 
never can tell that, but Fanny would have a fair idea. She had 
no taste, of course, but a flair as good as Gambart's or any dealer's 
for what was saleable and aware that sketches of Swinburne and 
Browning might be of great value in the near future. While for 
likenesses of herself she had the usual model's predilection (these 
ladies always hate to see pictures for which they have contributed 
the features, by far the most important thing of all, going away 
to someone who perhaps has never even seen the original !) 



A little while, a little love 
The hour yet bears for thee and me. 

. . . who have not said 
The word it makes our eyes afraid 

To know that each is thinking of 
Not yet the end. . . . 

Though Lizzy w'as now nearly always " so-so," keeping up 
with the help of laudanum (that needed brandy or whisky to drown 
it), she was often willing to undertake what her husband called 
" the adventure of Hog's Hole," especially when Ned and 
Georgy were of the party. These little people, unaffected, 
unpretentious, loved it all the arrival at Abbey Wood station 
and out, bleared and London-stained, into the " thin fresh air, 
full of sweet smells meeting you," the packing into the wagonette 
sent for them from Red House Morris himself perhaps on the 
driver's seat up the hill and then three miles or so of winding 
road, and then the friendly porch where the dark-haired, dark- 
eyed, dark-skinned, Janey, hatless, looking like an overgrown 
schoolgirl, would greet them. 

But it had come to be nowadays, somehow or other, a rather 
quieter, steadier party. Jones, still badly in debt (with sove 
reigns lurking in the linings of his coat pockets !), about to 
shoulder responsibilities to come, had grown milder than ever. 
Morris too was less noisy, less bouncing, the backwater of 
morbidity that ran alongside with the burly life-stream of this 
violent, patient in the main, man, was more obvious than it had 
been. He was poorer too, his income, the part- of it that was 
derived from the copper mines in Cornwall, was beginning to 
dimmish ; he had the Firm on his back and other little things . . . 
which he was not allowing to hurt him as yet. Rossetti, stout, 
patient, dullish and darkly sober, looked like a good burgess by 
now. . . . 


In the evenings " Poll " Marshall, accompanied by his Gussy, 
would sing Clerk Saunders to please Mrs. Rossetti and Busk ye, 
Busk ye, my Bonnie Bride for Mrs. Ned, and she would sing in 
her high wild voice La Fill* du Roi out of Echos du Temp 
Passf, to please Ned and Top. The world had grown older. 
Gabriel ^was thirty-three, Top was twenty-seven and Ned 
twenty-six. Of the women Lizzy was the eldest. Janey was 
already a mother, Georgy an expectant one. Lizzy, so regret 
tably free of matronly solicitudes, joked about it very often, 
mirthlessly, like the changeling of legend. 1 No more innocent 
teasing, such as sending Top to Coventry in his own house or 
getting a rise out of him by erasing his chosen motto, Als Icb 
Kanne, from the shutter where he had cut it and substituting 
the derisive As I Can't. No more hide-and-seek all over the 
house, jumping out on Janey and making her scream. No, in 
the evenings they sat, two of them never Lizzy on the great 
settle from Red Lion Square with the three painted shutters 
over the seat and a ladder up to the parapet and a little door 
in the wall leading to the roof. Windfallen apples were stored 
there, but no one now pelted Morris with them and sent him off 
to Leek next day with a black eye. Perhaps the settle reminded 
Mrs. Rossetti rather too keenly of the old studio and Walter 
D ever ell. . . . She was indeed a bit of a wet blanket and none 
of those who were at Red House at the same time as she Gussy 
Marshall or the Faulkner girls ever mentioned her in their 
happy letters thence. 

Yet " Oh, how happy we were, Janey and I," Georgy 
admits, driving about, " exploring the countryside," with a map 
and an old pony. No men with them : Georgy's husband was 
as bad as Gabriel's wife and " hated expeditions." His little 
wife found excuses for him " Like all imaginative natures," 
Ned did not need to be " made to feel." 

Sad enough already and mortally tired, 

Laden autumn, here I stand 

With my sheaves in either hand. 
Speak the word that sets me free, 

Naught but rest seems good to me. 

Lizzy was glad to get back to her city bower, the two doves, 
the bullfinch, the cosy evenings with the Joneses and, occa- 

1 That never cried or spoke except when it saw its earthly foster-mother trying 
to boil water in an egg-shell eating hardly anything, never laughing except when 


sionally, Swinburne. She would even giggle in her rather 
wicked way, while Gabriel sketched Georgy, at Algernon roll 
ing in his neat blue serge suit on the floor, making rude Limericks, 
finding rhymes to difficult names 

. . . Georgy, 
Whose life is one profligate orgy. 

A nervous subject, she seemed able to stand what no one 
else could, the manifestations of this young man's " inner core 
of excitement," his dancing about while he stood, moving his 
wrists continually while he sat, making some people feel posi 
tively sick. Him, of all Gabriel's friends, she liked best, except 
of course Brown, who was like a father to her, and the absent 
Allingham, who ranked as a nice intelligent brother, and Georgy's 
husband, " more romantic than his name," so Allingham said. 
Both these men, full innocent, unsophisticated, incurious of 
horrors and dirt " Justine., unmentionable, one supposes ? " 
so Ned, politely, of Swinburne's familiar. But prime inter 
pares, the Joneses ! To the very end she talked of a joint house 
hold with them. Georgy and Janey were, for the present, 
Lizzy's only available women companions : her sister was busy 
getting married. 

" I hope you are coming over to-morrow like a sweetmeat 
it seems so long since I saw you, dear," so she wrote to her 
" dearest little Georgy," whom she probably had seen last 
week ; " Janey will be here I hope to meet you." 1 She is sending 
a willow-pattern dish with her love and they must of course 
take Jemima (Dummy of old days) back in the cab with them ! 
After the meal the three men would leave the women to clear, 
and wander about in the studio, going over matters, turning 
canvases round face forwards from the wall while the others 
waited in the drawing-room for them to finish their talk, or in 
Mrs. Rossetti's bedroom if she were more " so-so " than usual 
and had to put her feet up, which it was impossible to do on 
the hard gilt settees in the drawing-room. 

The men's discussions were mostly academic or about what 
The Set was doing ; they hardly ever discussed outsiders except 
to magnificently praise or, with equal vigour, blow up. The 
problem that interested them, apart from helping artistic lame 
dogs over stiles, was how to nobble the dealers and get their 
own " pics " on the market. Jones, the shrewd, would be 

1 Memorials, Lady Burne- Jones. 

declaring that it was a mistake to let a prospective buyer see 
things without a frame and, for himself, even if he ever did 
" get there/' he always reckoned on the neglect a man's work 
might have to undergo at the end of his life, as well as at the 
beginning and prepared modestly for " public weariness of me." 
He apologised for himself " I do things badly because I don't 
know how to do them well. I want to do them well." Top 
averred that jealousy, not vanity, was the unpardonable fault 
in an artist. Rossetti, joking, put it to them that Jones was 
not really modest " He thinks that even his pictures, when he 
has done them, are not really good enough for him to have 
painted ! " Gabriel certainly was too conceited to be jealous. 
. . . And so, bullying each other, good-humouredly, they would 
join the ladies. 

Lizzy might have been with Georgy and Janey in the inner 
room, " trying on " something, or lying on her carven bed : 
laughing or crying it depended on the state of her health, she 
was always more cheerful when she was most ill. But she seldom 
talked happily even when she was alone with her friend, though 
to Georgy she was always fascinating, whether she grumbled or 
exulted, was excited or melancholy, humorous or tender. She 
was all these by turn. (If William had been there, he would, 
for sure, have described her manner as " flightier " than ever.) 
Even Georgy, all tolerance and love, noticed that the moment 
the men came in the manner of her hostess changed and that, 
if such a thing were possible, she began to flirt with her own 
husband. He could rouse or quieten her at his will, putting 
his finger, as it were, on some jarring nerve or other, waking it 
and stilling it alternately so that her mood, in his hands, would 
change from one of excitement to peace or the other way 
round in a moment ! She loved the experimenter, the 
tormentor so perhaps it was all right ? 

" A painter ought not to be married ; children and pictures 
are too important to be produced by one man ! " Nature 
apparently recked not of the artist's view, for Jones was made a 
father in the early days of October a little earlier than he 
expected and he nearly succumbed to the emotions aroused, 
so that the straw provided by Ruskin one of Philip's god 
fathers might well have been laid down for him. Though 


trembling in every limb, he proved more practical and efficient 
than Georgy " of the lion heart," who had been tactless enough 
to put a pen in her eye just before her time came. Neither 
doctor nor nurse was to the fore in Great Russell Street : they 
managed without, till Nurse Wheeler came and put everything 
right. But from that moment both the Joneses " saw every 
thing through a mist of baby," and Lizzy had to put up for 
company with the wife of the other member of the Trium 
virate it was a convention of the three friends, that their wives, 
more or less, sufficed each other for company. Lizzy accepted 
that convention. She was of course not jealous of Georgy 
she herself was again " hoping " or of Janey now that she 
was safely married. Kind Emma Brown was away and the 
hearthrug in Fortess Terrace unavailable so she was willing to 
go and stay with the Morrises, while Gabriel was in the North 
chasing commissions perhaps new loves. . . . Money was tight. 
The Flint affair was not yet settled although Mrs. Flint had 
died. There were, Lizzy understood, young children and 
executors imperious on their behalf. There was, too, a whopping 
bill for the alterations at Chatham Flace and the double 
rent! . . . 


There were some other rich Heatons near Leeds, unrelated 
to Miss Ellen Heaton, and Gabriel was summoned to Bingley 
to paint the very handsome lady of the house as a woman 
genius, holding in her hand a model of Woodside and the 
grounds, with swans on a sheet of water in front of it. 

Lizzy had promised to stay on quietly with the Morrises at 
Upton while he was away it would only be for a week. Sud 
denly came from Rossetti an urgent letter to Brown William 
was out of town to say that he had not taken Lizzy to York 
shire with him for two reasons. Firstly, it would have been 
impossible for him to take her with him to Bingley and, secondly, 
" the money we have would hardly suffice for my own journey 
North." And now he hears that she has gone home " had had 
to leave Upton in a hurry." And he knows that there isn't such 
a thing as a halfpenny in Chatham Place for her daily needs. 
He will be back in a week : will Brown take her some pounds, 
which Gabriel will of course repay punctually on his return. 
" Her flight, at present, makes me very uneasy." Brown might 


From a Photograph by W. Jeffrey 

send the " few pounds " by post if he is really too busy to go to 
Blackfriars, but Gabriel strongly hopes that he will " make 
time " to look up Lizzy. 

Forgetting his usual tact, Gabriel had proposed to call Mrs. 
Aldham Heaton's portrait Cor Cordium. Lizzy's, which he had 
been thoughtless enough to sell, was named Regina Cordium. 


One afternoon, late in November, Lizzy and Janey made an 
appointment to meet in Great Russell Street to see the new 
baby. Lizzy was fairly well, several grades above " so-so." 
Janey too was blooming, for her, of whom nothing could over 
come the olive paleness that spoke of her perpetual anaemia. 
So that day " The Statue " and " The Picture," two tall beauties, 
stood over the cradle and surveyed with very different feelings 
the " separator of companions, the terminator of delights " 
which was the mother's pedantic little way of saying that young 
Philip, who ought to have been called Christopher I but wasn't 
somehow, was a bit of a trouble. The three Pre-Raphaelite 
Queens sat round the beribboned bassinette, in the charming room 
with the big window looking straight on to the Museum, with 
a side-view of the trees in Russell Square. It was furnished of 
course from The Shop and decorated all by the painter's own 
hands, except the walls, hung with tapestries left by Henry 
Wallis when he ran away with Mrs. Meredith. The sideboard 
was painted " with ladies and animals," while, on the piano, 
modelled on the famous one of Brown only in plainer wood, 
covered with a lacquer of domestic provenance, the shade 
deepened by the use of the kitchen poker Ned had done an 
illustration of Le Chant $ Amour^ and on the panel under the 
keyboard a gilded and lacquered picture of Death, veiled and 
crowned, a reminder such as only two perfectly happy people 
can manage to live with. 

" Never was there two such beautiful ladies ! " said Mrs. 
Wheeler, passing and re-passing at her nursely avocations, 
leaving the little brown bird of a mistress, who didn't mind 
at all, out of it. It was one of Lizzy's good days. She and 
Gabriel had made it up whatever it was this time, in view 
of what might happen. Rossetti, always insulting about the 

1 Christopher was, and for long after into the 'eighties, the pet name for forth 
coming infants of members of The Set. 


Browns' domestic arrangements, 1 was glad enough to leave his 
wife with them while he gallivanted about the country painting 
the pretty wives of his various patrons. 


Then suddenly all was naught. Gabriel returned in haste 
to meet a new and important buyer, Mr. Rae of Birkenhead, 
and found himself under the necessity of apologising to a host 
for his wife's manners. Brown had come home to find that 
Mrs. Rossetti had " left his roof" and, feeling sure that Gabriel 
was somehow in fault, posted off to Chatham Place and found 
Mr. Rae there in full and fertile consultation. Not daring to 
speak out lest he spoilt the pie, he left in a huff and it needed 
all Gabriel's exquisite politeness to calm him down. " I could 
not mention about Lizzy's leaving before Mr. Rae. She tells 
me she felt unwell after you went out yesterday and, finding 
the noise rather too much for her, left before your return lest 
she should be feeling worse. Many thanks for all your care 
of her during her illness. ... I write this as her departure 
must have surprised you as it did me." 

He had and could have no secrets from Brown this was not 
for the eye of Mrs. Emma. Brown knew that Lizzy's nerves 
were in a shocking state and that the explanation she put for 
ward did not meet the case. Gabriel was by now pessimistic 
about his chances of paternity. Nature did not choose that a 
living child should be begotten of they twain, any more than 
Dante could hope to have a child by Beatrice. 

1 " If dirt quite essential, will turn some dogs in." An invitation to Brown to 
dine at the Rossettis 5 . Brown was supposed to prefer foreign eating-houses, for 
the reason set down above. 




A MONTH later a man she didn't particularly care for 
died ; it upset her and Gabriel too, for it was so 
sudden and so near. Only a week before he had been 
present at one of the more informal evenings at Chatham 
Place for which the invitation had run, " Can Gilchrist look in 
on Friday ? Anderson Rose, Sandys, Meredith and Val. . . . 
Nothing but oysters and come in the seediest of clothes." 

The illness- seemed negligible at first. " Poor old Gilchrist ! ?> 
Gabriel wrote in October. " Two of his kids and one of his 
servants have died of scarlatina." It was not realised by any 
one that his attack was of a malignant nature. Rossetti, Jones 
and Swinburne 1 went one Sunday to Cheyne Walk to supper 
and " never spent a pleasanter evening." Lizzy did not go, 2 
as Mrs. Gilchrist, upstairs nursing the children, was unable to 

Then the poor, pleasant master of the house went down with 
scarlet fever and after five nights of agony was carried out, feet 
foremost, on a wild and stormy evening on the last day of 

Gabriel " couldn't " didn't at any rate go to the funeral, 3 
any more than he went to Walter Deverell's. Women were not 
by way of attending these functions, and Mrs. Rossetti had not 
even complied with the Public Order for " Decent Mourning " 
enjoined on the Nation for the Prince Consort (he who had 
taken the turquoise and vermilion out of the Royal Arms and 
the azure out of the Garter and got rid of all the beautiful 
uniforms ; and was primarily responsible for the " flowing of 
all the innocent ugliness under the sky " of the early 'forties). 

1 Swinburne had won his spurs for knightly courage during the terrible cholera 
epidemic in Newcastle when he was a boy, staying there with the Scotts fearing 
neither Don, Devil nor infection. 

2 " Lizzy particularly unwell," on the 4th December, Gabriel writes. 

3 " I am afraid it will be hardly safe for me to go." 

u 289 

These sartorial and other singularities helped to accentuate the 
eccentricities that kept her lonely. Her old friend Bessie kept 
in touch with her, but was much in request and out of town a 
great deal. People like Mrs. Marshall did not call on the 
Pre-Raphaelite ladies whom her husband doctored for nothing : 
she considered Mrs. Morris " a beautiful but queer sort of 
young person," Mrs. Jones negligible and Mrs. Rossetti " a sheer 
nobody that Mr. Rossetti had picked up, thin, gauche and 
badly dressed.' 7 The Ladies Waterford, Dalrymple and Caven 
dish only put themselves out to go to " clever parties " given 
on purpose for them. And anyhow Mrs. Prinsep of Little 
Holland House always dropped painters when they married. 

There were outside amusements of course. They could go 
and have a good laugh at Bob Sothern in Dundreary or have 
their flesh made to creep over The Woman in White, from the 
novel by the brother of a Pre-Raphaelite. The first number of 
Fun and Christina's poems were out. And Politics ! America 
in an uproar the Mason and Slidell affair ; Italy, with Gari 
baldi gone to Caprera, and, backing all jealous wives, the 
ominous, scandalous flight of the Empress of the French to 
Scotland. They might feel deeply the destruction of old West 
minster Bridge or the projected renovation of their own Black- 
friars. Some sort of political or social excitement of the kind 
might perhaps have saved her from coming to be known as 
Mr. Rossetti's trying wife, 1 peevish, uncertain-tempered and 
staring-eyed, and to whom he was unfaithful. . . . 

Woe ! Woe ! The cry of prophesying Cassandra before the 
doomed house, " faughing " at the smell, not of blood, but 
drugs. People began to avoid it. Gradually the human tide 
flowed back and away from the accursed house by the river 
mouth; and the chatelaine of the vaunted, queerly painted 
chambers Numbers Thirteen and Fourteen, with the fair green 
door for both became a sour, unwholesome myth, pining 
and etiolating, alone with her birds and her bottle of laudanum 
or whatever it was ? 

Ruskin's dark hour coincided with hers. No one had seen 
him ; everyone knew that he was ill and suffering, and even 
had he been in England she was not one to send for him. She 

1 So my mother and her friends always spoke of Mrs. Gabriel. 


had angered the matter-of-fact Morris by her nonsense, and 
vexed the patient Browns by her vagaries and, now the Jones 
became of no avail, for Ned got ill and, by Christmas, was 
spitting blood. 

These Pre-Raphaelites never seem to have been able to 
conduct life unless out of Froissart or Malory ! With a blood 
stained napkin in her hand Mrs. Ned must needs take a cab 
to Doctor Stephenson who doctored them all to find a 
Christmas party going on and the consulting-room full of hats 
and coats. Still, she managed to show him " the crimson sign 
which would tell him more than I could," and he saw Edward 
and pronounced the haemorrhage to be from the throat and not 
from the lungs. Then the baby fell ill and Gabriel's mother, 
who ought to have known, since she had brought " the most 
precious of boys into the world," was asked to come and pre 
scribe. But all she said was " It is certain that the child is 
suffering great agony." And then they found a cheque for 
twenty (or thirty ?) pounds in a dressing-case where it had 
been left long for the strange reason that it was crossed! 
which tided them over the two illnesses. 

But, of course, they could neither of them leave the house 
much that winter, and garrotting was so bad in London that 
women could not go about the streets alone after dark for fear 
of being strangled. Gabriel was nearly always out or enter 
taining men in the studio, at any rate not there to escort Lizzy 
to Great Museum Street, so she stayed at home and more often 
than not, had only for company, when Algernon was out of town 
with his people Mrs. Birrell and her niece Catherine, and 
sometimes Red Lion Mary, who had plenty of conversation and 
was, on the whole, the best of them. 


By the time that the pale New Year, full of rumours of 
change and revolution, had dawned, these two, wrapped in the 
savage artistic isolation that the Pre-Raphaelites seemed to love 
and endeavour to create around them, were hopelessly, damn 
ably estranged. The man was busy, fulfilling, at his splendid 
wicked leisure, many commissions ; helping Morris with his 
stained-glass experiments. The Firm had bespoke a space at 
the second Great Exhibition to be held this year. Distant but 
attentive, he was having her Tauchnitzes bound for her, per- 

suading her to buy herself new clothes to be made up by Red 
Lion Mary, taking her to the theatre to see Miss Herbert (who 
sometimes came to sit) play at the St. James' in Le Chevalier 
de Saint Georges, and writing to his friend, buyer and confidant, 
the American, Norton (who had not met Mrs. Rossetti or 
heard of Mrs. Hughes), letters full of decent concern for " my 
wife," giving him at the same time news of the progress of the 
picture he was painting for him Before the Battle which, in 
view of the imminent risk of hostilities between England and 
America, might never get across ? Nervously, deprecatingly, he 
dilated on Lizzie's health and the beauties of their house (which 
Norton, of course, had never seen), as it were an auctioneer's 
catalogue " I write in our drawing-room, entirely hung round 
with her water-colours of poetic subjects." He was fully aware 
that the locality was not the best possible for an invalid and 
would move at once if he could " find a nice place elsewhere " 
and hoped to do so before long, but " there is something so 
delightfully quaint about our quarters here that nothing but 
the conviction that they cannot be the best for my wife would 
induce me to move." 1 

Quaint indeed, and picturesque, London's Maremma wherein 
this tragedy was being consummated, 2 but the artist is always 
at odds with the doctor. Nothing worse, from the point of 
view of health, than those loathsome, picturesque bights, like 
festering sores, forking up as far as Great Queen Street, less of 
a blessed harbourage than a breeding-ground of death and 
discomfiture ; Water Lane and Puddle Dock, just round the 
corner from Chatham Place, during the hours of a low tide, 
revealed a brown, sliding plateau of liquid suet, with the upturned 
green keels resting on it, blown, distended, monstrous, like frog's 
bellies or dead rainbow trout. And the Fleet river just below the 
windows was nothing but a sewer, roofed over. The shoreman 
the man who " made " the " shores," that is to say, cleaned 
the sewers knew his way about below better than he did on 
top, he told Ellen Macintyre. Lor', you could get in here and 
come out at Hyde Park! Under the River Room the drains 
lay so close under the bank that he could take rats quite easily 
in his hand. He sold them for threepence each brown rats 
and grey rats, faugh ! . . . Nonsense ! There were no black rats 
now. The brown ones had killed them and black rats were 

1 Ruskiti, Rossetti and Pre-Rapkaelttism. 

2 She died five weeks from the date of this letter. 


much worse than brown for pestiferous fleas. Besides, the 
sewers were cleaned out regularly every blessed parish was 
supposed to do its own flushing. She was sure St. Bride's did 
not trouble. Was he aware that there was a cesspool under 
their own doorstep ? 

" Not beautiful now, or even kind." And she spoke her 
mind, like Tennyson's poor mad Maud, serving up loathsome 
on-dits, exulting in the macabre so all-pervading now as he had 
taught her to do. And why, if the river was as healthy as he 
maintained it to be, why tell her that ? why had Walter, 
consumptive like her, been forbidden by the doctors to accept 
Gabriel's hospitality in the past ? There was some other 
reason. . . . 

There she sat on her low stool in the middle of the River 
Room alone, mostly all the day, amid the ceaseless, senseless 
crooning of her doves, silent or talking to servants, like Ellen 
and Catherine Birrell till dusk, when Gabriel, in his studio, 
would be heard to throw down his painting things (no such 
thing as putting them away) and, telling her to put on her 
bonnet, they would sally forth, the sturdy, hungry man and the 
thin, fanciful woman, to get a scratch meal in some place " where 
a lady might go if she ran very fast upstairs." Or to some 
noisy, more respectable resort, like The Cheese, where you could 
get a very fair dinner if you weren't particular about the table- 
linen. They were trying this or that new cafe and restaurant. 1 

On Monday Swinburne was going to take them to the Hotel 
Sabloniere, near Cranbourn Alley where Deverell had first seen 
her. Had she but stopped at that ! . . . 

The food they got at these places was not nutritious and 
seldom cost more than two shillings a head. She was growing 
emaciated, but it was not what she ate, or didn't eat. Gabriel 
'was not blind to the symptoms of her gradual deperishment or 
callous to her sufferings ; he was patient but, aesthetically tired 
of it all of the smell of drags clinging constantly about her 
and that of the still more odious correctives ... of the cooing 
of her doves, of her voice even querulous, raised and the 
oppressive meekness that succeeded or preceded an outburst. 

1 Verrey's for French cooking, corner of Hanover Street ; Simpson's, The Albion 
over against Drury Lane, two shillings a head from five till seven. The Divan, 
102 Strand; Rainbow Tavern, 15 Fleet Street; The Albion in Aldersgate; 
Richardson's under the Piazza in Covent Garden and at The Piazza Tavern in the 
same quarter. 


He envied (and said so) " the kind, sweet, blessed life " (in his 
letters well rubbed in) of Norton in America and began to stay 
out o' nights. And mostly, if they dined together, he sent her 
home alone in a cab, and in her sleep of exhaustion she never 
knew what time in the morning he sneaked in and lay down 
at her side. 


Mr. Swinburne came every day to sit for his portrait. The 
Young Man of No Feeling, in his seer-like way, noticed many 
things, heard the burden of the humming misery that was 
going on "dumb tones and shuddering semi-tones of death." . . . 
She. was still lovely to him, but the author of The Leper 
could not help noting " the change that finds fair cheeks and 
leaves them grey," her eyes no longer like those witching cat's 
eyes of Felise, but " as a dove's that sickeneth," and on her 
cheeks " where the red was, there the bloodless white." Her 
mouth, sweet still, but paler too, and her hair " all the fine 
gold of it tarnished at the heart." The sight of his sweet 
friend's decadence it surely was that imported the Pietistic 
strain into his verse. She was the morbid streak, the brown 
stain on his rose-red philosophy, the Pre-Raphaelite revelation 
of Death's lewd ugliness, as it came once to the eyes of the 
gay, cheerful Brethren that night at Millais' father's in Gower 
Street, in the picture of the gentle knights and ladies leaning 
over the necks of their horses to see the purulent Kings in their 
coffins. He realised that all her husband's magnetism was 
implicitly withdrawn from her and so he now only rendered 
her lip-service. Simple as he was decadent, Algernon fancied 
that she was dying of love for that husband, consciously un 
attractive now through illness to the full-blooded man that 
Gabriel was. 

Algernon Swinburne would have nursed and tended her, 
as the poor serving-man the leprous lady. Not so Gabriel 

It had been a great passion that was now a-dying. Algernon 
had heard of it long before he met them both. He pitied but 
dared not condole; she was so deadly proud and let nothing 
out, except in impersonal verse, some of which he had been 
permitted to scan. 

Ah, she had kept her man waiting too long and had been too 


pious for him ! The boy blamed her (if a-morality knows how to 
blame) for what had been told him of her procedure during 
those ten years before marriage the withstanding the with 
holding. . . . Now, but sure, unconsciously, Gabriel was punish 
ing her, even as brutally as did the Knight Des Lorges, the lady 
who sent him for her glove down into the lions' den. 

She did not believe much in the baby, she had always had 
such bad luck, but she meant to die in harness. She was willing, 
nay, eager, to pose when she could, gold-crowned, in a green 
robe with her liair all over it, as Princess Sabra, enthroned on 
a platform or dais looking out on a crowded square, with her 
father and the heralds and, prone beside them all, the dead 
dragon. The hero is bareheaded and Sabra is holding out a steel 
helmet full of water for him to wash his blood away. 

But, when she was not wanted, she sat bookless and workless, 
entertaining thoughts of suicide. In those days she was well on 
that bridge " between sadness and madness made of a single 
hair " which Tennyson talked of. Little things that William 
Allingham, the poet and mystic too, had repeated to her as 
having been said to him by his two best friends were 
summoned back by her morbid, imperious mentality. That 
great kind soul, Carlyle, did not consider suicide wrong. He 
thought that a man might, " in desperate need/' invoke the 
Roman Death, as he called it ... Veni^ Proserpina ! The 
Romans did not disapprove of self-murder. Actually, Tennyson 
told Allingham, a poisonous liquor was kept at Massalia and 
given to persons who presented themselves before the Senate 
and gave good reasons for their need to die. 1 And Mr. Carlyle 
had a notion that the dreadful act itself was not painful whether 
by poison or otherwise" more like a torrent of sleep pouring 
in on the brain. . . ." 

Courage^ 'poor heart of stone ! 

She was not at ease spiritually, not conscious of being saved 
in spite of the voulu religiosity of her verse. No priest no 
man cared for her soul ; so she would tell the man who 
no longer cared for her body. " Living in a darkness that 
could be felt ! " Thus William, a poet too, deeply com- 

1 Carlyle, " so plainly serious and discreet and so reliable not to misuse whatever 
was told him, and all sorts of people were continually talking to him, confidentially, 
all his life and nobody ever regretted it." D. A. Wilson in Carlyle at his Zenith. 


miserating where he would not save he thought her so bad 
for his adored brother. She was. And so thought Christina. 
Here was a chance for nun-like charity. Her neglect of this 
hapless sister in Christ is a stain on the effulgence of a great 
and noble woman, deeper far than the projected over-stepping 
of- the convent threshold (poetical periphrasis for the front 
door mat in Albany Street) for which she did self-imposed 
penance for the rest of her life. No particular blame attaches 
to his two best friends, who did not care for her either. Morris 
and Jones, loving each other to the tomb and Rossetti, if it 
were possible, beyond and after, might have saved him and 
her both Morris by his nobility and discretion, Jones with ^ the 
shrewdness and sane, sweet sense, despite affectations and wilful 
wool-gathering, that was his reserve. But Gabriel, of passions 
ranker and infinitely stronger, a bull on the leash of 'civilisation, 
negatived by his selfishness and heartlessness all they could do. 
Of their wives, Janey, " subtly of herself contemplative," as an 
influence was null ; Georgy, backed by Ruskin, did think of a 
rest-cure, unknown technical term in those days. 

Her outcries, at this time : 

Life and death are falling from me, 
Death (and day) are opening on ine. 

Lord, have I long to go ? 

Hollow hearts are ever near me, 
Soulless eyes have ceased to cheer me : 
Lord, may I come to Thee ? 

Holy Death is waiting for me 
Lord, may I come to-day ? 

How is it in the unknown land ? 
Do the dead wander hand in hand ? 
Do we clasp dead hands, and quiver 
With an endless joy for ever ? 

Lord, we know not how this may be ; 
Good Lord, we put our faith in Thee 
O God, remember me. 



THE little Joneses were all agog. Ruskin was taking 
his " dearest children " to Italy in the spring and 
Georgy had actually steeled herself to leave baby Pip, 
but, says she " First, dark waters had to be passed 

One foggy morning in February, her Ned breakfasted and 
settled down to do what he could to his picture in the absence 
of proper light to see by, when there was a tap at the door and 
Red Lion Mary called in. There was nothing strange about 
that : she was a usual Iris between Chatham Place and Great 
Russell Street and, had it been a Sunday morning instead of a 
Tuesday, might have come to read Ned choice bits from Reynolds, 
and wind up the clock and the musical box that lived under his 
pillow and play his, and her own, favourite tune, Oft in the 
S telly Night, as she called it. But to-day Mary stood stumpy 
on the mat and blurted out, " Mrs. Rossetti ! . . ." " Come 
in ! " they shouted. And she did come in and cried and told 
them plump that their " poor lovely Lizzy " was dead, of an 
overdose. (No need to say of what to them.) It was all 
over ; but the master wanted Mrs. Jones to come to Chatham 
Place, where they had been up, all of them, the whole night 
since eleven o'clock, when Mr. Rossetti had first found her. 
He had only just got into the house, he had passed Mrs. Birrell 
and Ellen in the hall, but had come down in a minute or so to ask 
them to sit with Mrs. Rossetti while he fetched Dr. Hutchinson, 
who had attended her in her confinement, a few doors down 
Bridge Street. Did Mrs. Jones know she was expecting again ? 
Mary thought it must have been another mishap. She was 
always having them. She was all black in the face. Mr. 
Rossetti hadn't seen he had not been near her since daylight. 
He was like a madman, refusing to believe it, calling out her 
name throwing things about, breaking up all the china in the 
flat. Mr. Brown was persuading him to lie down. The man 


was worn out, had been all over the place fetching people up 
to Mr. Brown's and Mr. Marshall's and the family all in 
opposite directions. Dr. William, Mrs. Birrell had herself 
fetched later lucky he was such a punctual man ! He was 
there now, and Mr. James and Miss Clara the other sister was 
not able to be about just now. The place was full of people. 
Mary herself had just happened to go with Mrs. Rossetti's 
new mantelet to be tried on, that she was making for her against 
Saturday to wear down to the Red House, a black one with 
magenta fringe and trimmings. . . . Yes, everything had been 
done for her. At six Mr. Hutchinson left off using the stomach 
pump, saying it was no good. There were at least four doctors 
with her by then, but she hadn't known a blessed one of them 
not no one, nor her husband. She had gone to bed with the 
door open Ellen had peeped just before he came in. She was 
snoring a bit then, but not much to speak of. 

All this was in the bus going to Blackfriars. Georgy had not 
allowed Ned to come with her ; he was ill and might have got 
his death in the fog and damp, which was sure to be worse near 
the river. She sat there quietly beside Mary, putting two and 
two together. . . . 

She knew that they had been going to dine with Algernon 
last night to sample a newly-opened cafe-restaurant he had 
discovered, where you could get a really good French dinner. 
They would dine about six and leave there about ten or eleven. 
Why had Gabriel needed to go out again, once he got home, 
especially just now ? 

Mrs. Birrell met them in the hall. Yes, last night after eleven 
Mr. Rossetti had come down and begged her and Ellen to go 
and sit with Mrs. Rossetti while he ran across and got Mr. 
Hutchinson to come and have a look at her ; she was breathing 
queerly. ... He seemed to be hours away and it was awful 
sitting beside her lucky she had Ellen, she wouldn't have been 
alone with the lady for anything ! It soon got worse and she 
was honking as if she could hardly get a breath, and fairly black 
in the face, as they saw later when the dawn came through the 
shutters that hadn't even been closed over-night. Mrs. Birrell 
had been up talking to her that very afternoon, about her hair 
that she was washing for Saturday and all about her mother's 


that came down to her feet like a sheet though she was old. 
Yes, her mother had been there on Saturday quite an event, 
that was; that and the dove that had got out last week and 
flown away. She had been worried over it, but Mrs. Birrell 
had said leave the cage open, and the window, and put a bit of 
something for it to eat and, ten to one, it 'ud come back. Yes, 
and it did, said Catherine Birrell, that very morning while 
they were working at her. Might have made all the difference 
if she had known ! Catherine heard a noise at the window and 
there was the dove pecking at the pane and trying to get back 
into its cage, but it couldn't, for someone had shut the window. 
Catherine had let the poor thing in, but it had died of weakness 
and she had laid it on the window-sill outside, where it was 
still unless somebody had removed it. That would have 
worried Mrs. Rossetti if she had been told, but she was all but 
gone, by that time. 

And then Algernon came to sit for his portrait, and Georgy 
had had to go down into the hall and break it to him. 


It was taken for granted that Mrs. Jones would want to see 
Her. She did not want to see her dear stretched out, hands 
folded on the coverlet, the way they arrange them, on the 
very bed where she had been used to lie and laugh not to say 
giggle on their lovely evenings that were no more. Nor did 
she care to see Gabriel, whom she could hear talking to Brown 
in sodden, plangent tones on the other side of the flat. He 
must be tired out. The very mileage he had covered between 
the hours of eleven and six, walking a good deal, which he hated 
so cabs were scarce at night ! He had fetched James and 
Clara from the other side of the river and then Marshall from 
Savile Row and, lastly, had got to Brown's at Highgate, a matter 
of several miles. 

And always at the back of her mind was the question, why 
had he gone out again and left Lizzy after bringing her home 
ill ? There must have been One of Their Quarrels and he was 
full of remorse now that it was too late ! They said that he 
had not looked at her face once, since dawn. . . . 

Would Mrs. Jones like to speak to Mr. James and Miss Clara ? 
A natural curiosity overcame Georgy to see what Lizzy's brother 
and the beautiful Clara were like. She said yes. 


A sensible-looking, hard, self-contained man came forward to 
meet her. " I was aroused in the night," he said, " and I went 
in all haste to take the hand of my sister, but it was cold. I 
spoke to her, but there came no response." Clara was as different 
from Lizzy as James, who in a way resembled her. Clara, 
questioned gently, said that, though the doctor had told her 
nothing, she was sure that her sister had died from an overdose. 
She often had to take something to make her sleep and no doubt 
had done so last night and miscalculated. Miss Siddall had, on 
arriving, at once sent Gabriel off to fetch a second opinion 
while Mr. Hutchinson went on with the pump. Then he had 
tried flushing out the stomach with water quarts he had used ! 
At six o'clock he had left off trying and gone away, and she had 
stopped breathing an hour and twenty minutes later. 

Georgy felt sick and decided to go back to Ned she was not 
wanted here. She had thoughts of asking Gabriel to come back 
and sleep at their place, for one night at any rate, but the door 
was between them and she was timid and decided not to interfere 
as Mr. Brown was with him. 


" Gabriel deeply troubled about these sad business arrange 
ments, as you will guess," she wrote to a friend, " and so is 
Ned, and all the men ! " 

For there had to be an inquest, Dr. Hutchinson said, in the 
circumstances. Oh, purely a matter of form, for everyone 
knew how attached Mr. and Mrs. Rossetti were to each other 
and there was of course no suspicion of foul play. Still he 
had found an empty two-ounce bottle labelled Poison in the 
room. Nothing else of any importance. 

So Mr. William Payne, the coroner for Southwark, in Her 
Majesty's name summoned and warned twenty-four good and 
sufficient men personally to appear before him at Bridewell 
Hospital to inquire on behalf of their sovereign Lady the Queen 
touching the death of Eleanor Elizabeth Rossetti, now lying 
dead within his jurisdiction. A long list of names was furnished 
him, among them that of Mr. De Keyser, of Numbers Two and 
Six Chatham Place, and Mr. Henry Benthall of Number Four 
teen, who^ received their rent on behalf of Mr. Duncan and 
who had liked the dead woman, for it was she who saw that it 
was paid with some degree of regularity. 

No disgrace attached to the laudanum-taking. Anyone might 


sell it, anyone might buy it. It was used for all sorts of mild 
ailments, much as people take aspirin nowadays, so Mr. Keates, 
Consulting Chemist, who lived on the same floor, did not shake 
in his shoes. But the law of England then and now treats 
suicide as a felony, and its penalties were still severe and 
ugly at the time this woman died. She was in act a felon 
and would have to be buried, like Ophelia, "with maimed 
rites" and, if in consecrated ground at all, on the north 
side of the garth always filled last. The very merciful 
formula, " Suicide whilst of Unsound Mind," would have been 
upsetting to both families : to the two very proud mothers, 
to the stiff William and the punctilious James alike, while it 
would have damnified the social existence of Lydia Wheeler 
and the child soon to be born of her. As for Gabriel every 
thing was bound to hurt him and he deserved it ! His friends 
except Georgy, perhaps, in her stable loving-kindness did not 
then envisage the " disastrous effect of his wife's death on the 
greatest of living men." 

Gabriel, it appeared, was not sleeping at home regularly but came 
back some time in the morning. And Brown gave up his precious 
working days to sit closeted with him, making up a tale. . . . 

In the cold, dark and clammy weather, the fog _ outside 
deadening the booming noises and cries of the riverside, the 
boats, from which the tide had retreated, with their dun sails 
furled, peaking out of the livid, faintly sun-stained mist, Brown, 
artist and poet, turned business man, because of his love for 
these two for ever sundered, sat preparing adequate versions, 
pre-arranging tactics against the dreadful day of the ^ inquest, 
" when no secrets shall be hid," hoping somehow to direct the 
trend of thought of all those who had assisted in this drama 
as a hundred papers would call it nowadays into a decent 
channel for Gabriel. And Gabriel, in the calm of exhaustion, his 
passion spent, grown curiously apt and business-like, fell m with 
Brown's plans for his ulterior benefit and answered questions 
coherently, while William, with his tremendous discretion and 
knowledge of the world generally, advised from a business point 
of view. Morris knew nothing; Ned, managed by Georgy, 
was no gossip at the worst of times and could be relied on. 
Georgy herself was the discreetest of women. 1 But they must 

1 Her account of the death, from the phrase "First dark waters to "Pray 
God comfort Gabriel/' occupies less than a page and a half of the two volumes of 


be primed they must all be at one with what they were going 
to say to-morrow in the Court room in the old Palace, almost 
next door. 

To begin with why, asked Brown, had Gabriel rushed out to 
fetch Hutchinson in the first instance ? What had frightened 
him ? The smell of laudanum about her ? He was used to 
that all her friends were. She kept a bottle of it under her 
pillow at Fortess Terrace and it worried Mrs. Emma rather, 
though Lizzy never let anyone see her take it nothing so 
unpicturesque ! What about the dinner ? What did she eat ? 
Did anything happen at table to annoy her ? Where was he 
going to tell them he went when he left her at nine ? What 
was the very last word he heard her say ? 

Poor Swinburne was in the next room crying. The slow- 
voiced, manly Brown, who felt so much more, would deal with 
him afterwards. He was a bit to blame. 

He catechised Gabriel very stringently. She had been all 
right at starting, " so-so " rather, as usual, but quite pleased with 
the idea of trying a new restaurant. Their host was to meet them 
there at six. It was her fault that they were late in starting. 
About half-way in the cab she had got so queer that Gabriel 
suggested that he should take her straight home and then go and 
explain to Swinburne. But she had refused, putting her head 
right out of the window and bidding the man drive on. He 
could not prevent it. Brown knew didn't he ? that she had 
a fund of obstinacy which was a defect in her character her so 
splendid character and that once she got an idea into her head, 
nothing would stop her. 

They were late, of course. It was nearly seven before they 
got there for six ; and Algernon had obviously had something 
to drink. Poor fellow, he always showed it at once ! She knew 
that wine was forbidden him ; that Lady Jane had once sum 
moned Gabriel to Eaton Place and begged him to see to it that 
her son carried out the doctor's orders and drank nothing but 
water. Gabriel didn't trouble much : Algernon was much more 
amusing when wine was in him, but Lizzy got it into her head 
that that was her job ; that a woman alone could help him. 
She was so terribly disappointed in Algernon that she scolded 
him^out loud in fact the waiters might have thought they were 
a pair^of them nodding her head as if she herself were overcome 
by drink, letting it drop forward and then rousing herself with 
a jerk and putting on the flighty manner (Brown knew it was 


an effect of shyness) that William, used to the demureness of 
Christina, so much objected to. The dinner was a failure : 
none of them could ever have gone there again. He was dis 
pleased with her and showed it. Oh, God! Now! come, 
steady, Gabriel ! . . * 

And she had said nothing, nothing at all, all the way home 
in the cab, jolting over the cobblestones, quite still, her feet 
rammed down in the straw x ... it did not rustle. She had 
seemed frightened, Gabriel said, that was what he minded 
most now as if he had kicked a lame dog. And the moment 
they got in and he had found fault with her behaviour in the 
restaurant, the quarrel began. They were at it, arguing, from 
eight till nine, and then she seemed to be utterly worn out and 
he was too, and he told her to get to bed and he would go out 
for a breath, perhaps look in at the Working Men's College for 
an hour he had promised he would and they would meet in 
the morning and forget it all. She had her back to him, stand 
ing at the dressing-table taking off her necklace beginning to 
undress. . . . She did not seem to believe in the College though 
she knew perfectly well that he was still concerned with it 
had taken over Brown's class there and had been giving a 
testimonial 2 to someone, or refusing it. ... 

She had not particularly liked his going to the College 
that night, Brown suggested, pinning him ? . . . Well, no, as a 
matter of fact she resented it violently. She seemed to have 
made up her mind, standing there, to show what power she 
still had by preventing him from going out again. Twisting 
the necklace round and round in her hand she began to hint 
more than hint at Fanny, trying to keep him beside her with 
the threat of another miscarriage suddenly clapping her hand 
to her side. . . . He was convinced that she was acting, for he 
did not really believe in her pregnancy and, anyhow, from 
something Hutchinson had told him last time, he had gathered 
that she was not likely to have conceived again. 

And so on and so on. Gradually Brown tore the truth out 
of the bleeding flesh of the man, poet and artist, moved as 

1 Bits of the straw off the floor of the cab were sticking in the hem of her 
dress that she had no care to shake off. 

2 January i^th, 1862. G. Rossetti gave a testimonial to who wrote back 

to ask if the terms of the recommendation might be " altered to higher praise." 
D. G. R. declined to do so, saying that he had already gone against his conscience 
" this genius seeming to have taken up art as a calling, for the usual reason of 
unusual incompetence." 


Brown had never seen him moved except perhaps when his 
father died. He got the very words used between them a few 
hours ago and her cry, " Stay with me, Gug, stay with me ! " 
to be remembered by the poor, remorse- and morphia-sodden 
wretch on lonely nights in Cheyne Walk in his bed, thick- 
curtained, " hung with masks of mockery," his sheets " watered 
with the wasteful warmth of tears." No tears from her she 
never wept but much, oh, too much " damnable iteration." . . . 
And his back was up because of the vulgar scene in the restaurant. 
He would not, curse him, he would not stay, and made to 
leave her, saying he must go to the College if only for an hour 
it was his night there. 1 Half undressed she followed him to 
the landing and stayed hanging over the banisters ; any of the 
other lodgers might have heard the frantic partner of his bed 
shriek out as he passed down the stone stairs with his head 
bowed as under a storm " Go then, and you'll kill this baby 
as you killed the last ! " 


Soothed and satiate, he had come back a few hours later, taken 
the key from under the mat, let himself in and called her. 
Getting no reply, he thought she was sulking and languidly 
groped for matches. She was in bed and asleep and he felt 
glad that the matter had been settled so. He did not go near 
her at first, but then her breathing began to puzzle and frighten 
him. He stood still a minute, with the candle raised, looking 
at her; then went downstairs again and told Mrs. Birrell 
who luckily was still up and by her advice went out and fetched 

Where did she think he was off to that night ? Brown, a 
man of the world, thought it was to Wapping. Fanny was the 
only person that Gabriel " knew well enough," as the children 
say, to leave thus cavalierly whilst half the love-night was still 

As regards the alibi, Brown meant to accept the College 
explanation. Everyone in St. Martin's Street would, at a 
pinch, back their ex-chief. 

Gabriel had hidden the bottle that lay on the little table 
by the bedside when he came in, but Brown made him put it 
back. Someone might have noticed it, he told Gabriel, and for 

1 No, it wasn't. 


him to have removed anything might prejudice him if there 
were any suggestion of foul play in the minds of the jury. But, 
indeed, Brown had seen and handled that which would certainly 
exonerate Gabriel from a charge of murder, but would lay Lizzy 
in a felon's grave. He was on thorns to know if any eye had 
lit on it before his own. The women would certainly have 
produced it. But it was still dark when Brown got there and 
her nightdress was white and would not show a piece of paper 
pinned on the front. Read out, it ran : 

" My life is so miserable I wish for no more of it" 

Brown resolved to withhold the darker knowledge that was 
his until he could discover whether or no Gabriel shared it 
with him. He was pretty sure that none of the others had 
noticed the piece of paper before he came. ... He was not so 
sure of the doctor who had been first on the scene and was 
insisting on the inquiry ? He made it his business to pay him 
a visit, but could not draw him and realised that he must 
remain terribly anxious on Gabriel's behalf until the inquest 
was over to-morrow. 

There were compensations. Brown had the pleasure of 
telling Ruskin, on the mat, that Gabriel was not well enough 
to see him. 

It would be in the papers the son of a baronet dining with 
an artist and his model in a French cafe-restaurant in Leicester 
Square the night before. . . . Swinburne must be given his piece. 
Brown went to him, in the drawing-room hung round with 
her poor, wooden little drawings. He was alone and crying 
he could stand pain but not strain. He had adored her and 
she had been very fond of him . . . but Passion, on the red 
head of him, was impossible. 

It was quite another thing tackling Algernon : there was all 
the difference between his gentlemanly reserve and Gabriel's 
businesslike communicativeness. Between sobs and Don't Re 
members Brown got very little out of the young man. He 
knew perfectly well that all was not right between the lady 
and her husband, but do you think he would admit such a thing 
for a moment ? Invited, delicately, by kind Brown to try to 
describe her behaviour on the night of the dinner that was 
only last night, and she his honoured guest ! No, he had not 
x 305 

observed anything in particular . . . she might perhaps have 
been a little more fatigued than usual, but then she always 
did seem tired nowadays. It was still " nowadays," and he 
wept again ! She was, of course, annoyed with him for taking 
too much wine; she was good enough to care a little what 
happened to him. ... In short, Lady Jane's son was too much 
of a knight and a gentleman to be of much use in building up 
a defence for Gabriel, should any come to be needed. And he 
might, in his own mind, though he made no such hint, have 
considered that Gabriel deserved some punishment. 

Brown's imagination got to work. Looking at the white 
forehead of Algernon and the blue and yellow bump on it, 
slowly fading out, he was reminded of a scene a few nights 
ago when the poor fellow had had more than half a glassful of 
wine and had suddenly caught sight of his own face in Lizzy's 
little Cinquecento mirror and, fancying that the reflection was 
mocking him, had smashed it with violence and fallen with his 
forehead on the corner of the table. She had forgiven him, 
queenly, as she would not have perhaps forgiven Brown or 
Gabriel if they had broken her looking-glass ? . . . She had a 
certain power of invective. 

Brown's invention was superior to his acumen. . . . He had 
it ! The Drugged and the Drunk ! She knew of her knight's 
foible and deplored it : he, on his own showing, was totally 
unaware of hers. She had gone to the dinner fortified with an 
extra dose of laudanum in brandy ; and the sight of her protg's 
backsliding, combined with her own bemused condition, had 
been too much for her and she had taken more when she got 
home to make her sleep. He must work this explanation up 
and have it ready for the people who, knowing something of the 
life of Gabriel and less of poor Lizzy's, would accept it the 
superficial Hardmans, the horny-hearted Merediths, the W. B. 
Scotts of the world. 1 


On Wednesday morning as no post-mortem examination 
was necessary, the members of the Jury (Mr. Benthall of 
Fourteen Chatham Place and Mr. De Keyser of Two, Six, 
Seven and Eight New Bridge Street, whose names were among 

1 William undertook to write to Scott in Newcastle and tell him exactly what he 
was wishing him to know, but, answering the letter, Scotus placed the onus with 
fatal accuracy. 


the twenty-four citizens empanelled, had managed not to be 
included) mounted, with their heads respectfully down, the 
steep stairs to the second floor of Chatham Place and were 
permitted to view in situ the body of " Elizabeth Eleanor 
Rosetti " lying on her own bed, "wonderfully quiet and peaceful- 
looking, poor thing 1 " (so William admitted, as if she had no 
business to be). Her serene face framed as usual in the oriole 
wings and upspringing bows of her hair, looked so coloured 
and beautiful that one of them l could not believe that she was 
really dead until he timidly touched the forehead and experienced 
" the feel " which convinces like a mound of stone, cold 
beyond Arctic dreams . . . like nothing else in the world. 
Even Brown, earlier in the day, in that deceptive hour when 
" the rose is seen above the mould " and the flesh fills out as if 
some new ichor of life had been poured into it, had rushed 
across to Hutchinson and asked him to come and have another 
look : it might be one of the Poe-like trances with which 
Gabriel's reading aloud had familiarised him. 


Missing their dinners, the gentry from the upper storey, 
Rossetti, his brother and Swinburne : from the basement, those 
important witnesses Mrs. Birrell, her daughter and Ellen 
Maclntyre the housemaid ; while from the other side of the 
river, Clara Siddall, dark, splendid and frowning as usual, who 
could not, would not, have helped her red red lips, supported by 
brother James, silently converged and met at the door of Bride 
well Hospital a little higher up the street on the same side. A 
sad, silent troop, they entered the old House of Correction " for 
strumpets and idle persons : for the rioter that consumeth all ; 
for the vagabond that will abide in no place." And there, it 
seems, must she too fare for a space who is suspected of " wilfully 
seeking her own salvation." 

Through the strong but finely wrought iron doorway picked 
out with gold, through dusty passages and ante-rooms with 
shelved walls and tables from which pale-faced clerks and scribes 
stared up at the rather unusual " cloud of witness, 55 and so into 
the great panelled Hall with the high, straight windows on 

1 Henry Watts of the Melbourne Argus and, later, of the Standard, later author 
of the Life of Cervantes and editor of Don Quixote. An ugly pock-marked man, 
as plain as she was fair. 


the south-west side looking towards the green meadow on the 
river bank where once the Templars jousted. In obedience to 
a whispered direction they stopped, sheep-like, under the big 
brass chandelier suspended from the ceiling, partially lit this 
dark day ; and in silence, under the eye of the Law of which, 
for the nonce and at all times, some of them went in fear, 
humbly bestowed themselves along the walls, waved thereto 
by a gesture from the beadle, until such time as they should 
be called to go forward and up between the hollow square of 
the two long tables, to speak foolish, incriminating words that 
might be drawn from them by the modern representatives of the 
rack and the thumbscrew. The Jurymen sat at a long table at 
right angles to the Coroner and the Witnesses at another long 
table against the wall. Friends of the dead there were none ! 
And the Officials were allotted place along the sides of the 
gangway leading up to where the Coroner, dressed in his so brief 
authority, sat in the President's immense chair backed by the 
gay, resplendent arms of Bridewell. Over his head crowded 
canvases deliriously stooped, so as to be seen even at the risk 
of a twisted neck, from near the top of the ceiling. They 
were not Cupids and clouds they were portraits. Over Mr. 
Payne's head there was that of a white-faced boy smothered in 
ermine, handing a Charter of Endowment to the Mayor of 
London, painted by Holbein who had managed to insert his 
own likeness into the head of a bystander, and a full-length 
by Lely of Charles II and a George III after Reynolds. Hung 
thus deplorably high, they were yet well worth an artist's craning 
notice. All " pieces " ! The chair on which the Coroner sat 
was by Chippendale or at any rate Hepplewhite. 

It must have been the first and the last time in his life that 
Gabriel Rossetti entered a show-place without looking at the 
pictures or considering an example of antique furniture, but 
perhaps he remembered it his whole life long. 

From perfect grief there need not be 
Wisdom or even memory. 

Brown, sick, sad and sorry, found himself adumbrating a 
sonnet, one of a series, which he worked up afterwards for 
a new love. 1 

Mrs. Birr ell, the responsible caretaker of Chatham Place, was 
examined first, perhaps so that the educated explanations of 

1 See Appendix. 

her betters should not influence her. Then Clara Siddall was 
called and sworn. The evidence of James Siddall, for some 
reason or other, was not taken. Yet the brother and sister of 
the deceased were the first persons, outside the household, who 
were with her husband in those trying moments before Brown 
got there ! 

It was made clear that Gabriel had gone out again immediately 
to find a doctor : he had procured four of them before he had 

Clara Siddall, of Eight Kent Place, black-veiled, weeping 
through the mesh, charily gave her sister's age next birthday, 
but did not seem to know the date of that. Yes, her sister had 
taken a few drops of laudanum in brandy and water that very 
night before she went to bed. 1 She did not suspect any foul 
play. So far her evidence was all to the good, except that she 
had added the water. But she reminded the wretched man of 
his wife's last words by her unnecessarily qualified answer to a 
straight question " Any family ? " " None alive J " No, 
she knew of no enemy no person intending harm to her sister, 
nor did she suspect any. . . . 

She was led away weeping and, rolling rather, his growing 
embonpoint seeming circumscribed between the two narrow 
forks of the gangway formed by the table, Gabriel Rossetti passed 
up, to admit that the deceased was his wife and that her name 
was Eleanor Elizabeth Rossetti. And that only yesterday she 
had seemed perfectly well and eager to go out and fulfil an 
engagement to dine with him and Mr. Swinburne at a new 
caf-restaurant in Leicester Square. But that actually before 
they started she had turned so queer that he had wanted to 
stop the cab 2 and tell the man to turn round. ^ But she was 
set on proceeding. Mr. Payne then gently asked him to describe 
her manner, and this was the part he had rehearsed with 
Brown so carefully the day before, but he had forgotten most 
of the points he had to make and those he was to prevent their 
making. He said " Something between flightiness (William's 
word pursued her thus beyond the grave) and drowsiness." A 
little excited, was she ? Yes. Had she eaten anything at the 
dinner to disagree with her ? Mr. Rossetti was afraid he had 

1 How did she know ? 

2 " Out in the carriage," says the Daily News, and spells the name throughout, 
as most people did, with one s. That and the proper observance of the single d in 
her maiden name were Gabriel's sore point. 


not noticed. At any rate the meal was soon over. They had 
come straight home, having only been in the place an hour. 

The Coroner seemed to take it for granted that the anxious 
husband had stayed with his wife, but Gabriel without 
prompting from him, said that he had left her at nine, while 
she was undressing, getting ready for bed, and " right as 
before." He spoke so naturally that he was not asked where 
he had gone and put under the necessity of lying, as Brown 
had dreaded. He was asked how he had found her on his 
return and at what hour that had taken place ? Half-past 
eleven, and she was then in bed and snoring. Then what had 
made him fetch Mrs. Birrell and the doctor ? Because he had 
tried to awaken her but had found her " utterly without con 
sciousness " and there was the half-empty phial on the table 
by her bedside marked Poison. He had not seen it before ? 
Yes but . . . 

The notion of suicide, already pretty nearly dispelled, 
prompted Mr. Payne's next question. Had she spoken of 
wishing to die ? No. (But of a dead child in ike womb.) 
She was engaged to go and stay with friends in the country on 
Saturday and had ordered some new clothes for the occasion- 
he understood that she had bought a mantle only the day 
before (which happened to be a Sunday !) But he would 
naturally be a little confused about dates, poor fellow ! 

Simple, manly, business-like, giving his evidence without 
reserve and seeming anxious to assist the law, though properly 
distressed (Mrs. Birrell had spoken to their living happily 
together; the sounds of brawls had not descended evenXantippe 
would not be heard a floor or so below), Mr. Rossetti even 
acquired merit with the Coroner and the Jury, who knew a 
gentleman when they saw one, even if it was one of those randy 
artists ! He dilated rather copiously on the disposition of the 
deceased to take laudanum at all times and seasons (showing 
something of the aversion of a new addict to the habit that 
was being inculcated in him by the partner of his bed and 
board), his speech slightly informed with the bitterness which 
was, to those who knew, part of thtfons ei origo of their estrange 
ment, taken in conjunction with his connection with Mrs. 
Hughes. Yes, his wife was in the habit of taking very large 
doses : he had known her to take as much as a hundred drops 
at a time ; there was the brown kind that was cheaper and less 
calculable in its effect. . . . That was a good stroke, Brown 


thought. (Gabriel was beginning to know a lot about drugs. 
His own special anodyne, his friends knew, was already chloral.) 
He went on to say it was his opinion that, without opiates of 
some kind, she could not sleep or, at times, even swallow food. 
And that the neuralgia which had obliged them to come home 
early had become so intense that night (brushing aside Clara's 
polite fiction of " in water ") that he thought she must 
have taken it neat to quieten her roaring nerves, without, 
however, any idea of injuring herself. ... 

He protested too much, and Brown was quite glad when the 
Coroner asked him to retire in favour of the next witness. 

During the rest of the examination the drug motif was kept 
up as well as that of the husband's devotion, and this was all 
Brown's handiwork. Brown had known how to deal with those 
malleable worm-witnesses downstairs, only half cognisant of and 
wholly despising the way of the eagles perching high above in 
their aery hung with dirty gobbets of brocade and faded silks and 
velvets, carpeted with dirty threadbare rugs, peacocks' feathers l 
stuck about and " orts " out of curiosity shops, gilt chiffoniers 
set with broken potsherds and kitchen stuff which they called 
"good " china. Actually they were quite quiet people. Mrs. 
Birrell had known Mrs, Rossetti for nine years, officially for two, 
when she began living there as his wife. That got out. Too 
late to matter, but she would have disliked it. When did they 
last see her alive ? On Monday afternoon quite cheerful, for 
her. Mrs. Birrell had not known when they went out nor 
when they came back, but Mrs. Rossetti was asleep by eleven 
that she knew for certain. She was never so surprised in her 
life as when Mr. Rossetti called down to the basement, and at 
the queer tone of his voice. He said, Come and sit with her 
while I run for the doctor. Where was she ? In bed, and 
quite black in the face when they took a candle to see her. 
The doctor came very quickly. And he attended to her. It 
was still dark. Did the witness fancy anything wrong ? No, 
she knew of no hurt to her nor suspected any. Would she say 
they were a united couple ? She would say they lived very 
comfortably together. 

Francis Hutchinson, called next, honestly believed that the 
deceased had died from the effects of an overdose of laudanum, 
a fairly large one; he had found in the room an empty phial 
marked Poison and the smell was very distinct. She was then, 

1 What the Rossettis called their feather-brooms. 


already, in a comatose state ; quite unable to swallow. He had 
done all he could to empty the stomach out, but after a while 
he had had to give it up and leave her in the care of a friend, 
Dr. Marshall. He had attended her in her confinement last 
year a female child still-born but he had only seen her once 
since in the street. She had hurried past him and seemed 
altogether in a very nervous state, perhaps owing to the habit 
she had contracted. . . . 

Catherine Birrell said she never got less than a shilling's- 
worth for her and always took the same bottle to get filled. 
The one produced was it ? Yes. She waited on her ? Yes 
but she never once saw her swallow any of it. She had not 
bought her any for six months. 

Again Brown was glad when she retired in favour of Algernon 
Charles Swinburne, whose evidence was nugatory and who got 
himself dismissed almost at once, for he had one of his attacks 
of St. Vitus's Dance and could not stand still, which confused 
the Coroner. No, he had noticed nothing unusual about the 
deceased on Monday night, except that she seemed a little 
weaker than usual. Exactly what he had admitted to Brown. 
Bon sang ne feut mentir, but it can at least manage to be 
consistent. . . . 

He did no good but no harm and the evidence of Ellen Mac- 
Intyre with her " She told me that she had taken quarts of the 
stuff in her time ! " was a clincher. Like Catherine Birrell she 
did not mention having bought any laudanum recently for her, 
but by now they knew all about Mr. Keates, Consulting Chemist, 
handy on the next floor. 

" And all doubts of suicide were disposed of," said the City 
Press. The verdict was Accidental Death. William sedulously 
omitted to record the proceedings in his so opulent diary and, 
except for a Sheffield paper and the paragraph in the Daily 
News Death of a Lady from an Overdose of Laudanum the case 
was not reported. Perhaps Mr. Henry Watts was responsible for 
that ? And for the carriage to the Sabloniere Hotel. 




JONES was too ill to leave the house and Georgy was 
nursing him. Lizzy's people, excepting her mother, 
stoical and vain, who lived to be ninety-two, were 
abased to the very ground. The friends of Lydia 
Wheeler ever after hinted at a " constitutional melancholy." 
She never would talk of her sister ; between the events of that 
dreadful week and her after life, full of thought-deadening, 
useful child-bearing, a curtain, was drawn. 

The scene, of course, was lightly dressed for Anne, Janey, 
Georgy, and delicate females generally, while Gabriel's men 
friends generally spoke of " the woman at Wapping, or somewhere 
on the other side of the river," as filling the bill. 1 

Of his own family, William was the most affected because of 
his brotherly love and a tinge, perhaps, of remorse for neglect 
of her. Scott, the friend of his boyhood, had to take him off to 
the Continent as soon as his work at Chatham Place was done. 
Both men of the world, these two did not adjudicate the blame ; 2 
loving Gabriel nearly as much as William, Scott, more cynical if 
anything than he, blamed Lizzy and was of opinion that Fanny, 
Gabriel's d&monia from the very beginning, had grown to be 
more in the nature of an easement than anything else and that 
the matter-of-fact mistress prevented the husband from going 

1 Little Georgy would describe a street-walker as " one whose goodness was in 
abeyance," but Anne Gilchrist and Miss Heaton were of sterner stuff. Ruskin, 
before he went away, wrote to the latter telling her that B. J. was so depressed 
" about Rossetti's wife's suicide," and over his own work, that if she would buy 
something of him she would be doing a kindness and "would not be getting a third- 
rate work, by any means." 

2 " Heard of the death of Mrs. Gabriel with sincere sorrow and grief for him. 
The circumstance you mention and which we hear from other sources has been the 
cause of some notoriety, adding to the mutual pain of such a parting." Scott, 

The use of the singular points to Scott's cognisance of the real facts, which he 
obviously was pleased to possess. 


mad when the wild wife died. She had, invited or not 
invited, come to sit as usual next day. Who was there to forbid 
or mind ? 

The inquest safely over, it was all out. Everyone knew how 
badly Mr. and Mrs. Rossetti had been getting on together and 
considered that it was the man's infidelities which had driven the 
woman to her death. Yet his behaviour after the inquest when 
he had, as it were, settled down a little, whether premeditated or 
accidental, dictated by prudence or merely characteristic, did 
not foster the idea of remorse at all, except perhaps for a letter to 
Mrs. Gilchrist, beautiful, patient, full of self-abasement ; that, 
and his refusal to look on his dead wife or even 1 go into the room 
where she must lie until Thursday. But then the portrait in the 
green robe with the yellow hair falling over it, for which she had 
posed less than a week ago, all the time confronted him in his 
studio as he sat, and when they considerately put its face to the 
wall he turned it round again. 

William of course made himself responsible for the funeral 
arrangements. 2 Another plot of ground was bought, near the grave 
of Gabriele Rossetti, under an aspen tree in the haunted western 
corner of the cemetery Number 5779. William ordered the 
coffin and dictated the name-plate and fixed the date of burial 
for Thursday. Meanwhile Gabriel slept, God knows where, and 
none of them dared to ask ; but William let it be understood that 
he went to them in Albany Street. Gabriel never left the house 
in Chatham Place at all now, until after dark ; it would not have 
been a friend's part, when the little green garden gate on to the 
street clashed, to look to see whether he turned northwards, to 
Regent's Park, or southwards towards the river. During the 
day he was to be found in his studio, ready to come out and speak 
to all, issuing like a prince into the ante-room where suitors wait. 

The women of his family did not need to meet Fanny ; she 
was a mere studio piece. They came every day and sat with 
friends in the drawing-room, telling them what they wanted them 
to know. That is to say, Gabriel's mother and his sister Maria : 

1 In this he was not altogether singular among these semi-dttraques who are our 
great men. Tennyson refused absolutely to look on his mother's corpse, so Mr. 
Allingham told me. 

2 A famous bookseller avers that he paid the funeral expenses. 


Christina did not offer to accompany them in their daily pilgrim 
age to Chatham Place. Her soul's salvation did not lie that way 
and she was too honest to come and vex the unhappy dust she would 
not save. She put on mourning for her sister-in-law (Allingham 
saw her in it) and kept it on till August. But Janey Morris, 
" tall, wonderful, in white bodice and yellowish skirt," came 
quite soon to Chatham Place, but did not stay very long. She 
had not known the dead woman so very well. 

There were things to do, and coming and going in the house over 
the river. Green, the frame-maker, was sent for and there was a 
sound of knocking in the desolate rooms. He packed Before the 
Battle and despatched it to Norton in America. Then he was 
bidden to go and ask old Mrs. Rossetti if she could find the cradle 
which only a week ago young Mrs. Rossetti had got out, to put 
on fresh bows and loops of ribbon. Now, this was to be sent just 
as it was, bedclothes and all, to Mrs. Joseph Wheeler at Number 
Ten Barnsbury Street Mr. Rossetti wrote the label himself. 
Not even Mr. Brown knew that just before Green began cording 
it up for Pickford, Mr. Rossetti had sneaked out on to the little 
landing when no one was about and had laid a five-pun' note 
between the two tiny pillows. 1 Someone Clara, when she came 
back after the inquest to fetch her bag ? had cut off a lock of 
hair for the unavoidably absent sister, and a good bit for herself. 
But there, poor Liz had enough and to spare 1 Aunt Day 
always said that the masses of it had weakened her but then it 
was so light and loose. . . . 

Gabriel would not see Georgy, but he sent, both to her and 
Red Lion Mary, photographs of Mrs. Rossetti from his own 
drawings of her, and a nice letter. He told people that he had 
several times attempted to have Liz photographed from life, but 
that she always came out so badly it was no use keeping them 
the gold hair always came out black or blue. . . . 

The only thing of hers he cared to keep was her long gold 
watch-chain. The family might have her " things." 

Aunt Day took her brown and black striped silk 2 and her 
work-box with the two letters she had once received from Maria 
and Christina respectively lying folded in the bottom of it, and 

1 None of Lydia's children turned out to have golden hair and Gabriel took no 
further interest in them. 

2 Her best. I have seen a bit of it. She was wearing it when she was photo 
graphed at Hastings. Dresses were of such good material in those days that they 
were long-lived for careful people. 


the little table easel on which she had painted most of her 

Fanny took the Swinburne, and Gabriel was too miserable to 
miss it. 


Presently Gabriel saw a few men Meredith, of all people, 
Morris of course and " his little Northumbrian friend " and hers, 
with whom he had already arranged to live. But Ruskin he would 
not see. It was William who led Ruskin, all bowed and stooping, 
into the bedroom to say good-bye to his beautiful protegee of 
other days. And his most arrant failure ! (But he had failed 
with all women.) He had done his best for Lizzy, but the bone- 
dust, the subsidy, the fees to Acland, the sojourns at Hastings and 
Clevedon and Nice and Paris even, had not availed to save this 
most wilful of all women, who lay now, still and static, weighed 
down, but not oppressed by the Eternity into which she had! 
entered ; mute-faced " as though the hills were on her eyelids 
piled" 1 safe in Heaven instead of his own very Calvinistic Hell. 

" Marvellously calm and beautiful," so William, reluctantly, 
of her who in life had always puzzled and confounded him. He 
could not call her " flighty " now, yet the old grievance was still 
uppermost. " Secretum meum mibi" . . . Still she evaded him 
and the rest : her secret more than ever was her own^her life's with 
drawal which had vexed and estranged them all, for ever sealed. 

And poor deeply grieving Allingham wrote, thinking of her : 

Her face is very pale and fair, 

Her hooded eyelids darkly shed 
Celestial love, and all her hair 

Is like a crown around her head. 

Yet now is silence. Do not weep. 

No one did but Algernon. For, as even William could bring 
himself to say 

with her was such very humbleness, 

She seemed to say, I am in peace. 

Yet, how dared she ? Ruskin was saying in his Calvinistic heart, 
though, by her looks, God had spoken. She had not presumed 
on His mercy ; yea, she who had taken her own life had been 
permitted to enter the Everlasting Rest. Ruskin's tottering 

1 T. Gordon Hake. 

faith, undermined by the 'haviour of his own cruel little Love, 
for ever died as he looked on Rossetti's, in full possession of 
unmerited Beatitude. 

Ruskin, poor dear, who had never gained any woman's con 
fidence, knew all : his psychological flair, always there but some 
times inhibited by pedantry and didacticism, told him what the 
Blessed Damozel had done and yet been allowed to take her place 
in Heaven, And Gabriel, in his eyes, was now utterly damned. 
He knew the nature of the unholy relief that the man was 
finding, in these early hours of loneliness, from his intolerable 
remorse, 1 nor would he in this hour have denied the poor wretch 
the rough-and-ready consolation of a woman's breast. ... He 
was aware, too, that the days of their great friendship were 
numbered and that Gabriel, conscious of his terrible perspicuity 
and intolerant of his usage of the right to lecture, would, sooner 
or later, pick a quarrel with him on that account. 2 


On Wednesday afternoon, late, the undertaker was expected to 
come and finish. Gabriel's mother, sister and brother, and a 
friend or two Brown, Swinburne, Anne Gilchrist and young 
Luke lonides were assembled in the room next to the one where, 
alongside the carven bedstead on which she had died, the coffin 
stood on its trestles, not yet closed down. All had taken their 
formal last look at her except Gabriel. Would he, now his 
first since Tuesday? He was moving restlessly about among 
them, hardly speaking. Presently he went to his study and 
returned, looking ugly with his large, distended nostrils and 
loose lip, carrying in his hand the little green book they all had 
handled, into which, evening after evening last winter, he had 
been copying his poems. He made for the bedroom which he 
had not entered since Monday, saying in a low voice, without 
looking to the right or left : " I have often been working at these 
poems while she was ill and suffering and I might have been 
attending to her, and now they shall go ! " 

1 Natural sorrow does not destroy strength but gives it, while an irregular, out- 
of-the-way, sorrow kills, according to weight." 

In writing this, he was, of course, thinking of himself and Rosie. 

2 Within a month of the death Rossetti was worrying Ruakin on a matter of 
business He eot him written to, to say that he was under the impression that 
drawTngs by hkLlf and his wife were being sold by Ruskin. Why, in Business' 
name, not ? 

He had beckoned Algernon to follow him. 

When they both came back after a few moments Gabriel's 
hands were empty. He passed into the other room and Algernon 
stayed behind and told them what Gabriel had done. He had 
lifted the tiny, thin, lace-bordered napkin that undertakers bring 
to coyer the face with and laid the book on the left side^ between 
her hair and her cheek, sedulously averting his eyes, like a child 
that has been scolded. 

It was the one gesture of Gabriel Rossetti's life to be rendered 
void, at the behest of the caitiff Howell. 1 

She had won, her woeful victory. For her sake he was a 
painter, no longer a poet, his credentials buried in a dead woman's 


More than the book was buried with her. A few hours before 
they all arrived, Catherine Birrell had crept in, carrying the dead 
dove off the window-sill, and laid it at the thin end of the coffin, 
like a dog at the feet of a Crusader. It took no room to speak 
of no more than Lizzy herself had taken in this world. 

1 " Fallen in the practice of a cursed knave," he never, in the opinion of his 
brother artists, painted a fine picJire~-agaiRv-- -Witk- Howell -as a guide, he went 
deep into Spiritualisni-' -""""'"'" 


By the. kindness of the Librarian of County I fall 


From a photograph 


IT has been said 1 that Remorse is the easiest passion of 
all to live down : Rossetti never did. His own fierce 
and sentimental personality would not let him forget, 
and Society forthwith started the legend that was to 
hound him to his passive, drug-ridden death, strangled by the 
hank of golden hair that hung on the bell-pull of his bedroom and 
the dreadful onus of the recovery, by dull, swart, gravediggers, 
of his last oblation to her. 

" Let him, it does him honour," his brother had said when 
told that Gabriel had laid the little green book under her cheek. 
But Brown, an artist, had not approved of this confiscation by 
Death, of work that might enrich the world. And later the man 
himself allowed the haunting fear of blindness to nullify and render 
vain this one fine motion of his spirit. Yes, one can dictate a 
sonnet, but not a picture, and he was soon got to think that 
actual publication of masterpieces addressed to her would be a 
surer tribute than that last alteration and obliteration of the grave. 
So there were great flares by night, 2 in the western corner on the 
haunted side by the aspen tree in Highgate Cemetery, and Mr. 
Tebbs who, with Howell, was Master of these Ceremonies, lay 
abed three days in his home in Aubrey Walk with a sore 
throat. . . . 

And the joke of it all was that the best of these poems were 
enshrined in the memories of The Faithful who had heard 
them so many times. Brown, Swinburne, Alaric " Attila" Watts, 
Tebbs, down to my mothqr, could have reeled them off at a 
sitting, and did very often. And besides, who wanted to recover 
" Dante at Verona " or even " The Staff and Scrip " ? 

Clara alone, of Lizzy's relations, was able to be at the graveside. 
She was not told of the exhumation, so that on the appearance of 
" Poems and Ballads " she swore that recovery of these master 
pieces was impossible, since she had with her own eyes seen the 
coffin let down in its bands and " the earth over her." 

1 By Leslie Stephen, of Regulus. 2 In 1868. 


At first, stunned, Gabriel was noisy. Then he settled down 
into a drugged and sleepy monomania. The carven bed was 
moved into the sitting-room and made into a couch. He never 
slept again in Chatham Place, though he painted there a little. 
But a month after her death he could not bear even to do that 
and took some chambers on the first floor of Number Fifty- 
Nine, Lincoln's Inn Fields. For a time his work was feeble and 
unremunerative. Scott had to be his banker. Ruskin had gone 
out of town on the very day of the funeral, and then Rossetti 
got it into his head that the Professor was selling his drawings 
by Lizzy and the little quarrel, foreseen by the other, took place. 

Of the family, Lyddy would not see him and the mother was 
too ill, but kind Clara, whom they fondly called Tump, went to 
see him sometimes, to talk to him about Liz, reminding him of 
nice things connected with the days that were gone, which 
helped his tardy tears to flow. And Tennyson was nice, and an 
American called Whistler. And Allingham, shocked, but very 
pitiful, thinking of "The Cold Wedding," written after the 
first time he saw her, and another poem, more deeply serious, 
" Mea Culpa " (nothing to do with them), which he had once 
shown in manuscript to Gabriel " Very fine, my boy ! " 

In July he had come over as usual and met Gabriel at a great 
affair at the Parkes' (" Bessie as usual an excellent hostess "). 
And William and his sisters (or did his eye deceive him ?) were 
" in mourning for poor Mrs. D. G." The family were proposing 
to live all together and maybe a Polidori and of course Gabriel 
must have Swinburne " to inspirit " him in an old house 
in Chelsea " built in Elizabethan style " with great bow 
windows (?). It would be possible, Gabriel said, to make a 
studio of the old hall and a fanlight might be cut over the door 
to make one see better coming in. ... 

Next year Gabriel had his first epileptiform fit. Later, he 
went to Newcastle, taking Fanny with him, to look up her 
relations while he hobnobbed with his best buyers, Mr. Leatheart 
and his son-in-law Rae. Mr. Rae bought a little oil picture of 
Mrs. Hughes, looking tragic, as harpies can her blunt features 
somewhat sharpened, perhaps, by the terrible happenings in 
which she had been art and part. 

While, in the other camp, Lizzy's mother, the dignified, hand 
some old lady, recovered some or all of her spirits she was a 
bit of a fay too and went out often to tea, letting her wonder 
ful hair down as her wont was, so that it lay like a draught of 


silver fishes over her shoulders, right to the ground. She would 
be fetched home by her two tall deferential sons, James and 
Harry. James in Cator Street, carefully preserving his dead 
sister's marriage lines, lived longest, kindly remembered by the 
neighbouring tobacconist. Gabriel kept both brothers. It was 
the least he -could do. Clara, alas, died in an asylum. 

Barbara Bodichon, she who at Hastings had engineered " The 
Cold Wedding," much later, to please Allingham, went to see 
Mr. Rossetti " in a friendly way." For " I am so sorry for him 
I like him so." Ten years after this she did not even recognise 
him, until he spoke. 

Gabriel let Boyce have Chatham Place and Boyce slept there 
and used the studio, so full of ghosts, until the whole block was 
pulled down. In 'sixty-eight my mother had tea with him in 
Number 14 and sat on the carven bed on which Lizzy had died. 

Gabriel never saw her grave and left instructions that he was 
not to be buried in Highgate Cemetery in any circumstances 


At me one night the angry moon 
Suspended to a rim of cloud, 
Glared through the courses of the wind. 
Suddenly then my spirit bow'd 
And shrank into a fearful swoon 
That made me deaf and blind. 

We sinn'd we sin is that a dream ? 
We wake there is no voice nor stir ; 
Sin and repent from day to day, 
As though some reeking murderer 
Should dip his hand in a running stream, 
And lightly go his way. 

Embrace me, fiends and wicked men, 
For I am of your crew. Draw back, 
Pure women, children with clear eyes. 
Let Scorn confess me on his rack, 
Stretch'd down by force, uplooking then 
Into the solemn skies ! 

Singly we pass the gloomy gate ; 
Some robed in honour, full of peace, 
Who of themselves are not aware, 
Being fed with secret wickedness, 
And comforted with lies : my fate 
Moves fast ; I shall come there. 

y 3 21 

With, all so usual, hour by Hour, 
And feeble will so lightly twirl* d 

By every little breeze of sense, 

Lay*st tliou to Heart tliis comrnon world ? 
Lay'st thou to heart the Ruling Power, 
Just, infinite, intense ? 

Thou wilt not frown, O God. Yet we 
Escape not thy transcendent law ; 
It reigns within us and without. 
What earthly vision never saw- 
Mian's naked soul may suddenly see, 
Dreadful, past thought or doubt. 




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MARRIAGES solemnised in the Parish of Hornsey, in the County of 
Middlesex, in the year 1824. 

Charles Crookes Siddall, Batchelor, of this Parish, Elizabeth Elenor Evans, 
Spinster, of this Parish, were married in this Church by Banns with con 
sent of this Thirteenth Day of December in the year One Thousand 
eight Hundred and twenty four 

By me, J. Bluck, Curate. 

This Marriage was so solemnised f Charles Crooks Siddall. 
between us \Elizabeth Elenor Evans. 

In the Presence of f Wm. Henry (Batten ?) 
No. 348. \Mary (Cookman ?) 

Extracted from the Register Book of the said Parish this I3th Day of 
Dec r . in the year 1824 


From Railway Reminiscences : G. P. Neale. 

The Monastery of Mount St. Bernard is situated on the borders of 
Charnwood Forest; we arrived there by way of Coalville, and drove to 
the door of the Monastery. It was a new sensation to be received by 
the Guest Master in his white monkish costume, and to be invited to 
enter the convent premises. While all the other Members of the Con 
fraternity have "silence" enforced on them, the Guest Master has a 
dispensation in this respect. . . . 

The Guest Master explained to us the extent of the Monastery grounds, 
the whole farm being cultivated by hard labour. There were two bodies 
of monks one called the Choir Brethren, the others the Lay Brethren: 
the latter wore dark robes, the former wore white vestments; the rule of 
" silence " applied to all alike, but the Lay Brethren were mainly occupied 
in the day in the field labour, tending the flocks, and other portions of 
outdoor agricultural life, while the Choir Brethren were free from these 

We came to the doors of the interior quadrangle; on them was posted 
up " No woman is allowed to pass through these doors." . . . 

" Silence ! " " Eternity ! " met us at every corner, and at intervals 
along the cloistered walk. In the centre of the quadrangle were the 
graves of various Members of the Confraternity who had entered into the 
silent land, and had exchanged their opportunities of time for Eternity 
itself; each had been laid there, without any coffin, simply wrapped in 
the monastic garb. It had been customary to keep an open grave in this 
central spot in readiness for the next brother who might in turn fall a 
victim. . . . It was a relief to follow our Guest Master out into the open 
fields, and walk through the pastures where the sheep were so tame that 
they moved not away in the slightest degree at our approach; they allowed 
themselves to be handled like domestic animals. Here and there we 
saw the Lay Brethren; they took no notice of us as we passed them on 
the pathway, they kept their eyes on the ground, lost apparently in con 
templation, and so indeed did those few Choir Brethren we came across 
in the cloisters and passages. . . . 

^The Abbot wore a garment much like the other monks, he was girt 
with a long chain of beads and a cross pendant from the chain, he ... 
seemed pleased to answer any inquiries. . . . 


He told us that he had given orders to dispense with the Trappist rule 
of the open grave, as there had been unpleasantness connected with their 
burial customs in this respect, and had decided to abandon the practice. 

We took our leave, first of him and then of the Guest Master, and 
placing our contributions in the monastery alms box left St. Bernard's 
with many striking memories, none more permanent than the . . . notice 
at the entrance of the quadrangle, " Silence! " " Silence! O Eternity! " 

Hopeless Love. Sonnet 6. Absence. 

My mistress one dark night passed over sea. 

( this dark hour is on the . * .) 

O may the gales deal gently with such freight 
. . might the gales her softness emulate) 

(And on my sleeplessness did visions wait) 

By turns, each saddening and each one she 

(. . . each sad of face . . .) 

Till one not her in mien . . . approaching me 

Told how, bewept by kindred desolate 

She lay at point of death, her mother strait 

(She lay then sought I straight 

Her mother, love armed spurning secrecy. 
The half lit chamber faint with drugs I scanned 


The blackened lips, the wan white brow and the trace ^ 
(The wan white features dark lipped and the trace 
(The wan white dark-lipped features and . . .) 
Of pain on eyes fringed still with loveliness 
( fringed round) 

Till agony of sobbing as a wand 
Waved back my phantasy's strong fever and 
Left but the tears that wetted still my face 
(Of all left but some tears along . . .) 

Note. The holograph initials ><2, set against line 14 by Mr. Brown, surely refer to the 
circumstance* of the death scene in Chatham Place on that day in February, 1862. V. H. 



London AN IN QUISITION indented taken for our Sovereign 

and Lady the Queen at the Precinct of Bridewell in London 

Southwark on t ^ le Twelfth day of February in the Twenty-fifth 

year of the reign of our Sovereign Lady Victoria by the 
Grace of God of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland Queen 
Defender of the Faith before William Payne Sergeant at Law CORONER 
of our said Lady the Queen for the City of London and the Borough of 
Southwark in the County of Surrey on view of the body of Elizabeth 
Eleanor Rossetti now here lying dead within the jurisdiction of the said 
Coroner upon the oaths of the undersigned Jurors good and lawful men 
of the said City who being now here duly chosen sworn and charged to 
enquire for our said Lady the Queen when where and in what manner 
the said Elizabeth Eleanor Rossetti came to her death say upon their 
Oaths that the said Elizabeth Eleanor Rossetti being a female of the age 
of twenty-nine years and the wife of Dante Gabriel Rossetti an artist on 
the tenth^day of February in the year aforesaid at Chatham Place in the 
said Precinct and City Accidentally took an overdose of Laudanum by 
means whereof she the said Elizabeth Eleanor Rossetti then and there 
became mortally sick and distempered in her Body of which said mortal 
sickness and distemper and of the Laudanum aforesaid so by her acci 
dentally taken as aforesaid she the said Elizabeth Eleanor Rossetti on the 
Eleventh day of February in the year aforesaid at Chatham Place aforesaid 
did die And so the Jurors aforesaid upon their Oaths aforesaid do say 
that the said Elizabeth Eleanor Rossetti in the manner and by the means 
aforesaid Accidentally and casually and by misfortune came to her death. 

IN TESTIMONY whereof as well the said Coroner as the said 
Jurors have to this Inquisition set their Hands and Seals the day year and 
place first above written. 

Wm. Payne Coroner Hy. Watts George Rider 

T. S. Capel H. J. Andrew 

James Spicer Charles Coulson 

He. Miller Wm. Tuff 

John Hart Thomas Martin 

Charles James Thicke J. T. Teasdale 

To the Beadles and Constables of the 
Precinct of Bridewell in London. 

By virtue of my Office of Coroner of our Sovereign Lady the Queen, 
for the City of London and the Borough of Southwark in the County of 

Surrey, These are, in Her Majesty's Name, to charge and command you, 
that in sight hereof, you summon and warn Twenty-four good and 
sufficient Men of your Precinct personally to appear before me on Wednes 
day the twelfth day of February one thousand eight hundred and sixty two 
at J past i of the clock in the afternoon precise time, at Bridewell Hospital 
in the said Precinct and City then and there to do and execute all such 
things as shall be given them in charge, and to enquire on behalf of our 
Sovereign Lady the Queen, touching 'the death of Elizabeth Eleanor 
Rossetti now lying dead within my jurisdiction, and for your so doing 
this shall be your Warrant; and that you attend at the time and place 
above mentioned, to make a Return or the Names of, those you have so 
summoned, and further to do and execute such other matters as shall be 
then and there enjoined you; and have you then and there this Warrant, 
Given under my Hand and Seal this Eleventh day of February 1862. 

W m Payne Coroner. 

The Execution of this Warrant appears by the Panel hereunto annexed. 

The answer of 

Thos Oxford Beadle. 


Mr. John Hart 

Mr. John Campbell Jun r 

Mr. John Sheppard 

Mr. James Spicer 

Mr. John Rider 

Mr. Thomas Spencer Capel Foreman. 

Mr. Ishmael Fisher 

Mr. Charles James Thicke 

Mr. John Walpole 

Mr. Henry James Andrew 

Mr. Henry Watts 

Mr. William Horsford 

Mr. Henry Miller 

Mr. Ralph Charles Price 

Mr. Charles Coulson 

Mr. James Thomas Teasdale 

Mr. William Tuff 

Mr. Thomas Martin 

Mr. Henry Benthall 

Mr. Thomas MacNally 

Mrs. Sarah Birrell, housekeeper 

Catherine Birrell, daughter 

Ellen Mclntyre, niece 

Clara Siddall, sister to Mrs. Rossetti 

Mr, Swinburn, friend of Mrs. Rossetti 

14 Chatham Place witnesses. 


By kind permission ofH. H&mblen, Esq. 

From a photograph by Downey of Newcastle 

Sarah Birrill 14 Chatham Place Blackfriars says I am Housekeeper 
says I knew the deceased Mrs Rossetti. I have known her 9 years, she 
has lived there about 2 years. This happened on Monday night after she 
was in bed. I saw her about 4 in the afternoon. She was quite cheerful 
then. At ii she was asleep. I was called up about J past n by her 
husband. I saw her then in bed. She looked very blank (? black) in the 
face. A Doctor was sent for he came directly. And he attended to her. 
She died at 20 minutes past 7 on Tuesday morning. She used to take 
laudanum occasionally to produce sleep for the last twelve-months I saw 
a Phial of it was under her pillow. I knew of no hurt to her nor dont 
suspect any. Her husband & herself lived very comfortable together. 

Clara Siddall No. 8 Kent Place Old Kent Road says the deceased was 
my sister her name was Elizabeth Eleanor Rossetti. Her age 29 last 
birthday. I saw her on Saturday evening last she seemed in tolerably good 
spirits then. I have heard of her taking laudanum to produce sleep. I 
was sent for and saw her about 3 on Tuesday morning. She was then 
alive but quite unconscious. I know of no harm to her. I dont suspect 
any. I heard she had taken a few drops of laudanum in brandy and water 
before she went to bed. She had no family alive. 

Dante Gabriel Rossetti of No. 14 Chatham Place Artist says that 
deceased was my wife & her name was Elizabeth Eleanor Rossetti. On 
Monday afternoon she was perfectly well, about 6 or 7 we went out to 
dinner, but before we started she appeared drowsy and when we got half 
way in the cab I proposed going home again. She wished to go on and 
we dined at the in Leicester Square with a friend. She 

seemed somewhat between flightiness and drowsiness, a little excited. 
We left there at 8 and came straight home. I went out again after 9 
leaving her just going to bed. She seemed as right as before. She was 
in the habit of taking large doses of laudanum. I know that she has taken 
a 100 drops. I thought that she had the laudanum in brandy. I returned 
home again at J past 1 1 and then she was in bed and snoring. I found 
her utterly without consciousness. I found a Phial on a small table by 
her bedside, it was quite empty. The Doctor was sent for and he attended 
her she had not spoken of wishing to die. She had contemplated going 
out of town in a day or two and had bought a new mantle the day before. 
She was very nervous & had I believe diseased heart. My impression is 
that she did not do it to injure herself but to quiet her nerves. She could 
not have lived without laudanum. She could not sleep at times nor take 

Francis Hutchinson of Bridge Street M.D. says I knew the deceased 
and attended her in her confinement in April or May last. The child was 
born dead and had been dead for a fortnight before it was born. I have 
only seen her about once since then, that was about a month ago in the 
street. I was sent for on Monday night about } past n. She Was in a 
Comatose state we tried to rouse her, but without any avail. She could 
not swallow anything. I used the stomach pump but it had no effect. I 

33 1 

then injected several quarts of water into the stomach and washed the 
stomach out. The smell of laudanum was very distinct, 100 drops is a 
large dose. I staied with her till 6 in the morning. I left her in the care 
of Mr. ? Mable a medical friend of hers I believe that she died from the 
effects of laudanum which must have been a very large dose. The Phial 
found in the room was about a 2 oz. Phial. It was labled " Laudnum 
Poison." She was in a very nervous condition when I saw her. Her 
husband appeared very much attached to her. 

Catherine Birrill says I had not bought any laudnum for the deceased 
for 6 months. I bought a shillingsworth. The Phial was about half 
full. The Phial found was the one she generally used. I never saw her 
take any. I know of no hurt to her. I waited upon her and they lived 
very happily together. 

Algernon Swinburne 1 6 Grafton St. Fitzroy Square at present says I 
have known the deceased and her husband. They dined with me on 
Monday, I saw nothing particular in the deceased except that she appeared 
a little weaker than usual. 

Ellen Macintire says I live at 14 Chatham Place says I was with the 
deceased on Monday evening about | past 8. She seemed cheerful then. 
I did not see her again till Mr. Rosetti called me up at | past n. She 
told me once that she had taken quarts of laudanum in her time. I have 
seen the Phial with laudanum in it. 

Taken on oath j Wm _ p 
before me J J 



ABERDARE, Lord (H. A. Bruce), 119, 186 

Acland, Dr. Henry Wentworth, 69, 87, 

140-9, 198, 202, 247 
Miss Sarah Angelina, 148, 223 
Mrs., 141-8, 152 

Allingham, William, viii, ix, xi, xxiii, 10, 
19, 20-7, 3 x - 8 > 4~4> 52, 64-6, 71- 
9, 82-9, 93-9, 100-8, 112-17, 1 2 1-5, 
130-9, 143-8, 150-1, 167, 170-9, 
180-4, T 99> 2 oi-i7, 223-9, 2 3~9> 
240, 261-7, 2 79> 28 4> 2 95, 3 J 4- l6 > 

Anthony, W. Mark, 272 

Armitage, Edward, R.A., 14 
Mrs., 81 

Aspa, Count, 8 

Atkinson, Mr., of Ambleside, 73 

Babington, Dr., 269 

Bancroft, Samuel, xix 

Barbour, Mr., 46 

Baring, Miss, 233 

Bath, Dowager Marchioness of, 37, 271 

" Bede, Cuthbert," 244 

Bell, Jacob, 9 

Miss, 161, 233 

Benthall, Henry, 119, 162, 300, 306 
Birkbeck, Rev. John, 7 
Birrell, Catherine, 291-9, 307-18 

Mrs., 52-7, 60-2, 119, 137, 175, 249, 

291-9, 304-8, 310-11 
Black, Clementina, 4 
Blackadder, Henrietta, 111-17 
Blake, William, 14 
Blanchard, Edmund, 47, 54 
Bodley, G. F., R.A., 275 
Bonalley, Rosabell, xviii, xix 
Bonheur, Rosa, 253 
Bowen, Charles, 220 
Bowles, C. L., 198 
Boxall, Sir William, 14 

Miss, 223 

Boyce, George Price, 51, 71-9, 97, 100, 
114, 178-9, 191, 218, 226-8, 232, 
253, 261, 321 

Mrs. (Mdlle. de Soubeyran), 218 
Boyd, Alice, xvi, xxii, 244 

Spencer Hugh, xvi 
Branson, Ferguson, M.D., 204 
Brett, John, 272 
Britten, Ellen, 24-5, 56, 75, 82 
Brooks, Shirley, 40 
Brought, Robert, 242, 275 

Mrs., 242, 275 
Brown, Catherine (Cathy), 49, 62, 126, 

153, 166-7 

Ford Madox, x, xiv, xk, xxiv, 3, 6, 12, 
13, 1 8, 30-7, 41-2, 43-9, 50-8, 62- 
9, 92-7, 103-17, 119, 120-8, 130-9, 
151-9, 166-7, 172-7, 181-9, 190-9, 
200-17, 223-9, 232, 240-7, 253-5, 
261-3, 271-8, 281-8, 291-9, 300, 

Mrs. (Emma Hill), viii, xiv, xix, 12, 30, 
40-9, 54-6, 62-4, 82, 1 1 8, 126-7, 

i35- 8 > 153, ^7, i7 6 ~7> I86 > *99 
225-9, 237, 245-7, 256, 270-8, 286- 
8, 291, 302 
Hannah, 156-7 
Lucy, 126 
Browning, Mrs. (Elizabeth Barrett), 76, 

154, 160-9, 204, 227, 231-9 
Robert, xx, xxiii, xxiv, 65, 76, 121, 

139, 154, 160, 182-3, 204, 227-9, 
230-9, 255 
Sarianna, Miss, xx 

Burden, Elizabeth, 218 

Burne- Jones, Edward Coley, vii, xx, 169, 
170-5, 180-5, 187, 197, 200-17, 
223-9, 230-2, 241-7, 254-6, 261-3, 
270-5, 282-9, 296-8, 300-13 
Mrs. Georgiana, viii, xxiv, 173, 187, 
225-9, 230-3, 241-8, 254-6, 263-9, 
270-2, 281-6, 290-9, 300-15 


Burne, Philip (" Pip "), 285-7, 2 97 
Burrows, Mr., 7 
Butler, Mrs. Josephine, xii 
Button, Mrs., 209 

Caine, Sir Hall, xxiii, 140, 227 

Calverley, Walter C., 72 

Cameron, Dr., 261 

Campbell, Major Calder, 116 

Car dwell, Miss, 144 

Carlyle, Thomas, 21, 36, 76, 100, 154, 

226, 230, 262, 295 
Mrs., 76, 86 

Carrascosa, General, 8, 99 
" Carroll, Lewis" (George Dodgson), 144 
Cartlidge, Mrs., 193, 212 
Castiglione, Comtesse de, 164 
Cavendish, Lady, 290 
Cayley, Charles Bagot, 71, 100, 272 
Chalon, Alfred E., R.A., 14 

J- J-> H 

Charles, Mrs. (Mrs. F. G. Stephens), 

Chatfield, Alfred, 236-9 

Mrs., 236-9 
Chorley, Henry, 34, 40 
Clough, Arthur Hugh, 76, 108, 114 
Coke, Lady Mary, 7 
Cole, Sir Henry, xv, 3, 42, 122 
Coleman, 114 

Collins, Charles Alston, 7, 9, 54, 88, 

Wilkie, 7, 9, 103-4 
Collinson, James, xiii, xiv, 8, 9, 13, 22 
Colman, Henry, 204 
Combe, Dr., 144 

Mrs., 67, 145, 203 
Constable, John, R.A., 8, 14 
Cook, Eliza, 38, 47-8, 80 
Cooper, Mrs., 78 

Sidney Charles, R.A., 34 
Costa, Michael, 8 
Cotton, Mrs., 146, 223 
Coutts, Angela Burdett, 47-8, 80, 151 
Cox, North, 1 80, 226 
Crellin, Dr., 241, 251 
Croucher, 268 
Cushman, Charlotte, 75, 80 

Susan, 80 

Dalrymple, Lady, 249, 272, 290 
Darwin, Charles, 56 

Davies, Emily, 79, 80, ill 

Eustacia, 55 

Day, Mrs. Lucy, I, 186-8, 190, 315 
De Keyser, 300, 306 
De Morgan, William, 73, 101 
Deverell, Margaretta, 3, 4, 31, 55, 67, 

77, 1 80, 267 

Maria, 3, 4, 31, 55, 67, 77> l8o > 2<5 7 
Mrs. (Dorothy Phillips), 2-9, 14, 16, 

28-9, 30-2, 41-5, 55-6 
Spenser, 3,4,31,55,67, 1 80 
Walter Howell, 1-7, 12, 13, 17, 
21-5, 26-9, 3- 8 > 4 2 -3 ? 54-9. 
66-7, 68-9, 72, 96, 100-14, 122, 
145, 175, 180, 181, 196, 203-16, 
258, 283-9, 2 93 

Walter Ruding, 1-5, 31, 55, 67, 203 
Wykeham, 3, 4, 16,31,67 
Dickens, Charles, 34, 71-6, 233 
Dixon, Canon Watson, 197, 217, 230 
Thomas, 225 

W. Hep worth, 71, 104, 272 
Dobell, Sidney, 280 
Domecq, Adele, 87, 106 
Drury, Annie, 203, 210, 211 
Duncan, Edward, 50, 119, 252, 300 
Dunlop, 37 
Dyce, William, R.A., 4, 5, 14, 79, 226 

Eastlake, Sir John, P.R.A., 107 

Lady (" Corinne "), 85, 107, 150, 170 
Edwards, Miss Betham, 80 
EUiotson, Dr., 8, 81 
Elliott, Ebenezer, 10 
Ellis, Prof. S., xx 
Elphick, Mrs., 90-1, 110-13 
Etty, William, R.A., 14 
Eugenie, Empress, 73, 163-4, 2 9 
Evans, Marian, 48, 79 

Faithful, Miss Emily, 48, 256 

Fanny (Cornforth, Cox, Hughes), ix, 
xv, xvi, xviii, xix, xxi, xxiii, 5, 71, 96, 
122-5, iSi-3, 227-9, 2 34> 2 58, 265- 
6, 275, 280-1, 292, 303-20 

Faro, 8 

Faulkner, Charles Joseph, 197-9, 201- 

17, 225, 230-4, 263, 272 
The Misses (Lucy and Kate), 223, 

Ffoulkes, Mrs., 144 

Fowlinski, Miss, 24 


Friswell, Mrs. Hain, 218, 230, 264 
Frith, W. P., R.A., 11, 256 

Mrs. Isabel, 32, 256 
Fulford, William, 197 
Furnivall, Dr. J. W., 101 

Gaisford, Dr. Thomas, 140 
Gale, Sarah (Greenacre), 157 
Gambart, Ernest, 214, 249, 253, 274-7, 


Gamble, Henry, 204 
Gandy, John, R.A., 256 
Gaskell, Mrs., 260 
Gavazzi, Father, 7 

Gilchrist, Alexander, 254-6, 2$6, 289 
Mrs. Anne, 193, 254, 269, 275, 289, 


Gillies, Margaret, 83 
Gillum, Colonel, 230-2, 253 
Gladstone, W. E., xii 
Goldsmid, Sir Isaac Lyon, 7 
Goodall, Frederick, R.A., 4 

Mrs., 8 1 

Gordon, Osborne, 144 
Gosse, Edmund, 257 
Grant- Allen, xv, 232 
Granville, Lord, 3 
Gray, George Chalmers, 131, 151 

Euphemia Chalmers ("Effie", Mrs. 
Ruskin, Mrs. Millais), xxi, xxiv, 

43~6> 59> 66 > 74> 85-9, 97, 100-3, 

131-5, 150, 172, 249, 250 
Greaves, The Misses, 193, 213 
Green, 268, 315 

Charles, 204-14 

Greenacre, William, 57, 120-1, 155-6 
Greene, Mrs., 184 
Gull, Dr., 254, 273 

Hailes, Dr., 64, 89, 91-5, 149 

Hall, S. C., 34 

Halliday, Michael F., 71, 168, 272 

Hancock, John, 163 

Hannay, James, 12 

Michael, 12, 37, 54, 66, 71, 88, 

Hardman, William, 258-9, 261-9, 272, 


Hart, Mrs. Solomon, 81 
Hatch, Rev. Edwin, 205-6 
Haussman, Baron, 162 
Hearnden, Mrs., 36 

Heaton, Miss, 106, 159, 160-8, 233, 313 

Mrs. J. Aldham, 286-7 
Hemblen, Mrs., xix 
Hems, Henry, 204 
Herbert, J. R., R.A., 4 

Miss Louise (Mrs. Crabbe), xxiii, 
166-7, 181, 215-16, 223-4, 2 30, 
Hill, Birkbeck, 163, 200, 227-9, 2 34 

Mrs., 30, 256 

Octavia, xxi 
Hobbes, John, 85-6 
Hodgson, J. E., R.A., 11 
Hogarth, Harriet, 55, 181 
Holt, John, 254 
Home, David Dunglass, 47, 69 
Hook, James Clark, R.A., n, 232 
Horsley, James Callcott, R.A., 4, 14, 


Houston, Madame, 241 
Howard, Stirling, 204 
Howell, Charles Augustus, xii, xix, xx, 

38, 88, 170-6, 185, 211-12, 228, 

233, 240, 261-9, 3*8-19 
Miss Rosalind, 38 
Howitt, Anna Mary, viii, 37, 40-8, 

62-9, 72-9, 80-9, 91-5, 109-13, 

129, 167-8, 1 86, 272 
Mrs., viii, 9, 37, 40-6, 62-9, 72-5, 94, 


William, 37, 40-6, 62-9, 72, 80-4, 

Hughes, Arthur, 45, 72, 199, 219, 226-8, 

122, 230-1, 256, 272-6 
Hunt, Alfred, xx, xxiv, 226, 231, 276 
Emily, 8 
Leigh, 19 
Sarah Holman, 8 

William Holman, vii, ix, xviii, xx, 
xxiv, 6, 8, 12, 13, 14, 16, 17, 18, 

2i-4> 34~7 ? 4-9> 54~9> 66-7, 74-9, 
85-8, 97, 101-7, in, 115, 131, 144- 
5, 168, 172-8, 182-9, 191-2, 205, 
225-8, 231-2, 272-4 
Hutchinson, Dr. Francis, 269, 297-8, 

Ibbitt, Miss Sarah Ann, 203-10 

William, 203-13 
Inchbold, T. W., 226, 272 
lonides, Chariclea, 217, 263 

Luke, 261, 317 


ames, Henry, 102 
'arvis, Mrs., 25 
bhnson, Mr., 201, 218 
r ones, George, R.A., 40 
Mrs., 40 

Keates, 53, 301, 312 
Keeling, 269 
Keightley, T. W., 123 
Kerr, J. Bellenden, xv 
Kincaid, Alexander, 154-9 

Mrs., 154-9, l6 4 

Kingsley, Rev. Charles, 34, 105-6, 230-1 
Knight, Joseph, 272 

Latouche, Mrs., 102, 249, 277 

Rosie, 249, 250, 262, 277, 317 
Lear, Edward, 226, 272 
Leatheart, James, xix, 233, 265-8, 320 
Ledru-Rollin, 38 

Leigh-Smith, Barbara (Madame Bodi- 
chon), viii, 37, 47, 66, 72-9, 80-9, 
95-6, 108-10, 111-19, 1 S*, 2 35> 
248, 256, 272, 321 

"Ben," 76, 95, in, 112 

Benjamin, M.P., 47, 76, 80, 95 

Julia, 76-9, 80, 95, no 

Nanny, 76, 80, 95 

Philip, 76, 95, in, 112 
Leighton, Frederic, 42, 139, 209, 226 
Leslie, Robert, 8 
Liddell, Dr. Henry George, 198 

Mrs. (Lorina), 202 
Linton, W. J., 268 
Liveing, Dr., 261 
Lomas, Henry, 204 
Lumsden, Lady Isabella, 144 
Luxmore, Mrs., 146, 223 

McCracken, Francis, xix, 37, 49, 60-4, 

84, 115, 265 

Macdonald, Rev. George Browne, 229, 

Harry, 229 

Louisa (Mrs. Baldwin), 229, 247 
Mackail, J. W., 170 
Mackintyre, Ellen, 292-8, 307, 312 
Maclaren, Archibald, 197-8 
Maclennan, John Ferguson, 159 
Maclise, Daniel, R.A., 14 
Macready, W. M., 12 1 

Madox, Tristram, 126 
Maenza, Madame, 240 

Monsieur, 240 
Marks, Murray, 261 

Mrs. H. Stacy, 81 
Marochetti, Baron, 97 
Marshall, H. (of Leeds), 253 

Dr. John, 44-5, 67, 251, 298-9, 312 

Mrs., 290 

Peter Paul, 263, 272, 283 

Mrs. (Gussy), 272, 283 
Marston, Dr. Westland, 41, 272 
Martineau, Robert, 168, 272 
Mazzini, Giuseppe, 7, 8, 21 
Meadows, Kenny, xv 
Meredith, George, xiii, xix, 140, 256-9, 

Mrs. G., 287 
Meteyard, Eliza, 48 
Middleton, Mrs. (of Hope), 193, 213 
Millais, Mrs. Emily Mary, 9, 34, 43, 

John Everett, vii, xix, xxiv, 6, 8, 9, 12, 

I3 ? H> I7 2I > 22 > 2 3> 33~4> 40-9. 
54-9, 63-8, 71-5, 84-6, 93, 100-7, 
116, 131, 135, 144-8, 150, 172-4, 
John William, 9, 15, 59, 65, 93, 294 
Miller, Miss Annie, xv, 36, 49, 71-9, 
82-9, 93-4, 103, 117, 118, 168, 178, 
181-5, 190-2, 231-4 
John, 252, 272 
Milnes, Richard Monckton (Lord 

Houghton), 208, 271 
Minchin, Miss, 162 
Moore, George, 59 
Moreau, Gustave, 56 
Morris, Jane Alice, xx, 263 
Mrs. (senior), 173-4, 199 
William (senior), 170 
William ("Top ")> xxiv, 18, 48, 169, 
170-6, 180-7, I 97~9> 200-19, 220- 
9, 230-4, 247, 255-6, 261-4, 272-5, 
282-6, 291-6, 301-16 
Mrs. (Jane Burden), xv, xxiii, xxiv, 
215-19, 224-9, 230, 244-5, 255, 
262-5, 272-5, 282-7, 290-6, 313-15 
Morrison, James Cotter, 102 
Moses, Lillas, 7 

Moxon, Edward, 130, 131, 166 
Mulock, Dinah, 51, 80 
Mulready, William, R.A., 131, 226 


"T^S^SSj? ' 3 -' 6 ' ^ P % f S " T ^ (<< Aunt Sara "), 
ir* A ' ^^5, 290 

Miss, 178 

Napoleon, Emperor, 163, 206 
Naundorf, Louis, 8 
Nichol, Robert, 205 
Nieuwerkerke, Count, 164 
Nightingale, Florence, 47, 80-8, 91 

Rev. 239 

Norton, Prof. Charles Eliot, 129, 214 
223-7, 255, 292-4, 315 

Oliphant, Mrs., 41, 101 
Orsini, 261 

Paganini, 8 
Panizzi, Antonio, 8 

Parke, Bessie Rayner, viii, 47-8, 79, 80-9, 
93-5, 108-11, 1 86, 256, 272, 290, 

Joseph, 80 
Parodi, 8 
Pasta, Madame, 8 

Patmore, C. K. Dighton, viii, xv, 19, 20, 
37, 40-1, 66, 70-1, 86, 101, 219, 
272-3, 280 
Mrs., viii, 66, 272 
Pattison, Dr. Mark, 144, 198 
Paul, Sir Dean, 160 
Paxton, Sir Joseph, 132 
Payne, William, 300-12 
Penfold, Dr., 7 
Pepe, Gen. Guglielmo, 08, QQ 
Phillips, Sir Travel, 4 
Pierce, Mrs. Harriet, 7 
Pietrocola-Rossetti, Teodorico, 72, 99 
Pistrucchi, Filippo, 7 
Plint, T. E., 64, 1 66, 230-3, 251-3, 265- 

8, 274-8, 286 
Mrs., 275-7, 286 
Polidori, Charlotte Lydia, 37, 54, 89, 98, 

109-19, 253 
Eliza Harriett, 37, 98 
Dr. John William, ix 
Pollen, Hungerford, 199, 272 
Potter, Dr. Cypriani, 8 A f 

Price, Cormell, 197, 201, 223-7 

The Misses (Frances and Margaret), 

Priestley, Joseph, 80 


Valentine, 199, 201-19, 224-6, 249, 


Procter, Adelaide Anne, 80 

Proust, Marcel, xv 

Prout, Father, 42 

Pusey, Rev. Edward Bouverie, 145 

Mrs. (Miss Barker), 146 

Lady Lucy, 146 

Miss, 146-8 

Rae, George, 233, 288, 320 

" Red Lion Mary," 199, 218, 256, 268-0, 
291-8, 315 

Redgrave, Richard, R.A., 4 
Mrs., 81 

Rendall, Simon, 53 

Richardson, William, 150 

Ristori, Adelaide, 166 

Robinson, F. Mary, 64 

Rolandi, 8. 

Rose, J. Anderson, 261, 272, 289 

Ross, Robert, 143 

Rossetti, Christina Georgiana, x, xii, 
xxiv 7, 12, 13, 21-2, 36-7, 41-5, 
53-8, 64, 72-5, 80, 98, 136, 154-5, 
105, 183, 201, 224, 238, 242-7, 
260-7, 272, 290-6, 303, 315 
Frances Mary Lavinia (" Old An 
tique "), x, 7, 8, 36-7, 59, 98-9, 136, 
*55, 183, 236-8, 242-4, 255, 273, 
291, 301-17 
Gabriele, 7, 8, 36, 53-4, 72, 97-9, 239, 

Joseph, 7 

Maria Francesca (" Maggie ")> xiii, 7, 
8 > 3^-7, 59, 62, 98, 136, 155, 183, 

Michael, xiii, xxiii, xxiv, 4, 5, 
9, u, !2, 13, 16, 17, 21-5, 35-8, 
40-5, 50-7, 63-4, 7i-6, 84-8, 98, 
109, 119, 129, 133-9, 143, 150-5, 
164-5, 184-5, 192, 201, 214, 223-7, 
230-8, 240, 243-6, 255, 263-8, 
273-7, 285-6, 295-8, 301-17, 320 
Mrs. (Lucy), 192 

Routledge, George, 64, 83, 108, 114 
Ruskin, John James, 86-8, 97-8, 132-8 
Mrs., 86, 97, 101, 132-8, 152, 169 
John, x, xiii, xv, xix, xxi, 3, 7, 15, 18, 
34-5, 4 I ~7, 62 -9, 74, 80-9, 93-9, 



150-9, 1 60-8, 171-3, 182, 191-8, 
205-15, 224-7, 240-9, 250-6, 262- 
8, 272-7, 285, 290-7, 305-17. S^o 
Ruxton, Capt. A., 214, 219 

St. Elme, Ida de, 8 
Sala, George Augustus, 71, 233 
Sand, George, 184 
Sandys, Frederick A., 261, 272, 289 
Sangiovanni, Benedetto, 8 
Sard, 8 

Sayers, Tom, 251 
Schucking, Prof. Levin, xxi 
Scott, David, 61 

W. B. (" Scotus "), xi, xv, xvi, xviii, 
xxii, xxiv, 5, 1 6, 22-3, 43, 59, 60-8, 
139, 151-2, 1 60, 198, 213, 224-8, 
233-5, 257, 263, 274, 2 8o-9, 306, 
313, 320 m B> 

Mrs. (Laetitia Norquoy), xv, xvi, xxn, 
xxiii, 16, 17, 60, 218, 233, 242-4, 
256, 289, 306 
Seddon, John P., 54, 66, 119, 166, 233 

Thomas, 37, 54, 66, 126, 272 
Segati, Marianna, xv 
Shields, Frederick, xiv, xxiii 
Siddall, Annie, I, 30, 155, 256 

Charles Crookes, I, 29, 30, 120, 158, 

213, 2 34-9, 278 

Mrs. Elizabeth Elenor (Evans), I, 
28-9, 30, 56, 121, 158, 186-8, 299, 
301, 320 

Clara ( Tump "), ix, i, 29, 56, 158, 
213, 278, 298-9, 300, 307-19, 320-1 
Harry, ix, 29, 120, 321 
James, 187, 193, 298-9, 300-9, 321 
Lydia (Mrs. Wheeler), ix, I, 56, 63, 
121, 137, 157-8, 184-8, 209, 236, 
247,251-6,266,301-13, 315,320 
Smith, Bernhard, 47, 171 
Madeline, 229 
Dr. Southwood, 83 
Smyth, Mrs. Carmichael, 42 
Sothern, Bob, 290 
Speedman, Brother, 234 
Stanfield, Clarkson, R.A., 14, 105 
Stanforth, Mrs., 90 
Stanhope, J. Spencer, 199, 226 
Stannus, Hugh, 204 
Stebbing, W. P., 100 
Stephen, Leslie, 319 

Stephens, Frederic G., 8, 12, 13, 16, 18, 
22, 31-4, 54, 67-8, 71-9, 103, 117, 
226, 272 

Stevenson, Dr., 291 

Stillman, William S., xxii, 223, 249, 261 

Stokes, J. Whitley, 71 

Stone, Frank, R.A., 34 

Stothard, Charles Alfred, R.A., 34 

Stowe, Mrs. Beecher, 80 

Strahan, Anne, 86, 132-3, 250 

Street, George Edmund, 7, 173-4, 226 

Swinburne, Algernon Charles, ix, xxiv, 
45, 6~5> 73, X 44> 205-7, 221, 237, 
243, 256-9, 260-7, 271-8, 281-9, 
293-9, 302-9, 312-20 
Lady Jane, ix, 208, 302-6 
Sir John (Cousin John), 206, 257 

Swinfen Jervis, M.P., 7 

Sykes, Godfrey, 204 
Jessica, 97 

Taylor, Sir Henry, 22 

Tom, 76, 179 
Tebbs, H. Virtue, xxiv, 66, 272, 319 

Mrs., 66, 272 

Tennyson, Alfred, xx, 19, 32-3, 75-6, 
100, 130, 154, 170, 181-3, 206-8, 
256-9, 293-5, 314, 320 
Mrs. Emily, xx, 130-1 
Thackeray, Miss Anny, 42 

William Makepeace, 8, 19, 42, 76, too, 


Thomas, Cave, 54 
Tozer, Mrs., I, 2, 24-9, 30-2, 64, 75-7, 


Trevelyan, Lady, 233, 271 
Tuppers, The, 9, n, 33,254 
Turner, J. M. W., R.A., 88, 97, 134, 

144-8, 172, 209-14 
Twisleton, Hon. Mrs., viii 

Uwins, Thomas, R.A., 7, 14 

Varley, John, 87 
Veriables, Canon, 144 

Walker, Dr. Richard, 222 
Wallis, Henry, 226, 287 
Ward, E. M., R.A., 14 

Mrs., 102 

Waterford, Marchioness of, 151, 167, 
271, 290 


Watts, Alaric Alexander (" Attila "), 

272, 319 
G. F., R.A., 47, 97, 122, 140-8, 226-7, 


Henry, 307, 312 
Theodore, xxiii, xxiv 
Waugh, Evelyn, 69, 107, 119, 120-1, 

253, 276 

Webb, Philip, 263 
Wetherall, Mrs., 212 
Wheeler, Joseph, 186-8 

Nurse, 286-7 

Whistler, J. McNeill, 261, 320 
White, E. Fox, 37, 153, 166 
Wilde, Oscar, 171 

Wilkinson, Dr. Garth, 62-4, 75, 82-9, 
99, 101-16, 149, 156 

Williams-Ellis, Mrs., 102 
Wilson, D.A., 295 
Windus, W. L., 172, 226 
Winkworth, Miss Catherine, 103 
Wood, Mr., 7 

Rev. J. G., 144 
Woodhouse, Lord, 156 
Woodward, Benjamin, 50, 198-9, 220-6 
Woolner, Thomas, 8, 13, 22, 31-6, 56, 

67, 101-7, 130, 181, 205, 226, 


Wordsworth, William, 36, 206, 256 
Wynter, J., 144 

Yonge, Charlotte Mary, 170 
Young-Mitchell, 203-13 

104 142